Housewife accused of killing housekeeper fails to talk; court orders mental evaluation
There was a mild drama in a Kano High Court on Thursday during the arraignment of Hafsat Suraj, 24, charged with stabbing to death of her domestic staff.
Ms Surag remained silent when asked if she understood the charge against her.
Ms Suraj was alleged to have stabbed her home help, Nafiu Hafizu, 38, in the chest and other parts of his body, causing his death on December 21, 2023, at Unguwa Uku Quarters Kano.
The presiding judge, Justice Zuwaira Yusuf, repeated the question three times, but Ms Suraj remained mute.
Following her refusal to answer, Mr Yusuf ordered that a medical doctor should mentally evaluate her at Kurmawa Correctional Centre.
Mr Yusuf ordered the prosecution to furnish the defence counsel with all the facilities concerning the case.
Earlier, the prosecution counsel, Aisha Mahmoud, urged the court to refer Suraj to a government Psychiatric hospital for mental evaluation pursuant to section 286 of ACJL 2019.
“We want to know if the defendant is fit to stand trial. My lord, we intend to call seven witnesses and adopt some exhibits,” said Mr Mahmoud.
The prosecution opposed the bail application made concerning the three other defendants.
Meanwhile, Mr Suraj’s husband, Dayyabu Abdullahi, Adamu Muhammad and Nasidi Muhammad were arraigned before the court for giving false information to screen Ms Suraj from legal punishment for the alleged murder of Nafiu.
Mr Mahmoud alleged that the three defendants committed the offence on December 21, 2023, at Unguwa Uku Quarters Kano. The defendants denied committing the offence.
According to the prosecutor, the offence contravened the provisions of section 167 of the Penal Code.
The defence counsel, Haruna Magashi and Rabiu Abdullahi, urged the court to grant the defendants bail, pursuant to sections 35 and 36(5) of the 1999 Nigeria Constitution as amended and sections 168 and 172 of ACJL 2019 Kano State.
They urged the court to order the prosecution counsel to furnish them with all the facilities concerning the case.
Ms Suraj and the three other defendants were, on December 27, 2023, arraigned before a Kano Chief Magistrates’ Court over alleged murder and concealment of fact.
The court said the date for ruling on bail application will be communicated to both parties.
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