From Olanrewaju Lawal Birnin Kebbi

Justice Umar Abubakar of the High Court in Birnin Kebbi has reserved judgment on the alleged murder of 47-year-old magistrate, Muhammad Attairu Ibrahim Zagga, charged against his former wife, Farida Abubakar.

The late magistrate, on 25/8/2022, was murdered in his house at night, about 20 hours. He was allegedly stabbed severally with a knife, with his former wife being the only one found at the scene of the incident.

The Prosecutor, in a statement, said: “On or about the 25th day of August, 2022, at about 20:45hours, at the Aliero Housing Estate (Quarters), Birnin Kebbi, the defendant was, in the early hours, sent some money by the deceased through her bank account for the medical treatment of her daughter, one Fatima.

“However, the defendant had called her ex-husband, one Attairu Abdullahi Ibrahim Zagga ‘M’, on phone to tell him that she was at the gate of his house to collect money for the treatment of her daughter. On his arrival, the deceased opened his gate and the defendant and the deceased went into the house. Few minutes later, his neighbours heard him screaming for help.

The said neighbours immediately rushed to the gate of the said house, but they discovered that the gate was locked up from inside; one Ibrahim Yakubu Sarki climbed over the fence/wall and discovered the said Attairu lying dead in a pool of his blood with stabs (cut) on his body.

“Therefore, the gate was forced open and the house was searched and the defendant found hiding in a chicken cage”.

The prime suspect, Farida Abubakar, in the case file number KB/HC/21C/2023, was charged with culpable murder and voluntary causing of body harm, or grievous body harm, contrary to Section 191(b) and 224(1) of Kebbi State Penal Code Law,2021.

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At the resumption of the case, yesterday, Deputy Director, Prosecution (DDP), Lawal Hudu Garba, informed the court that they had written their final address and urged the court to hold it as their legal argument.

“My Lord, this issue has subsumed the two issues formulated on behalf of the defence at page 11 of the final written address of the Defendant, whether the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt to secure conviction and whether circumstantial evidence is strong enough to secure a conviction. We submit, respectfully, that proof beyond reasonable means establishing the guilt of the accused person with compelling, credible, cogent, reliable, believable and conclusive evidence.”

Garba cited the case of Ankpeger v State(2018) LPELR-43906(SC) to buttress his argument.

“We submit that arising from the evidence, so far adduced, the defendant is presumed to stab the deceased, causing bodily pain and in the instant case, death. We also submit that the defendant did so with the knowledge that it was likely to cause hurt or death. We urge your lordship to hold that the Prosecution has proved the ingredients of causing bodily harm under section 224(1) of the Kebbi State Penal Code Law, 2021”.

However, the Defendant Counsel, A.M Sa’adu, who stood in for Abdul Nasir Salau, urged the court to discharge his client and acquit her from the alleged offence charged against her. He argued that there was no weapon found at the scene of the incident which could be linked to the offence and stressed that his client had explained what she knew about the death of the late magistrate.

“We, hereby, urge this court to discharge and acquit the defendant”, he said.

In his ruling, the Chief Judge, Justice Umar Abubakar, however, reserved the judgement and informed the parties that the date of the judgement shall be communicated to them.