BY Maryam Abdullahi
Abdulmalik Tanko, the proprietor of Noble Kids School in Kano who was arrested over the murder of Hanifa Abubakar, a five-year-old pupil, says he killed her with rat poison.
Tanko, who was paraded by the police on Thursday, confessed to the murder while answering questions on his involvement in the crime.
According to him, the school has two branches and the first — where Hanifa was buried — was opened in 2017.
Giving details of the incident, Abdulmalik said contacted his friend, identified as Hashimu Isyaku, and one Fatima Musa, to kidnap the girl at first but they failed to carry out the abduction.
“I lied to Fatima and Isyaku that the girl’s mother was the one behind the plan to kidnap the girl in order to extort her father,” he said.
“After Hashimu and Fatima failed to kidnap the girl, I decided to carry out the kidnapping myself. I kidnapped her when she was returning from Islamic school and took her to my family house.
“She stayed in my family house for about two weeks before I killed her. I killed her after some teachers in my school came to my house.
“I became suspicious. I thought they came to investigate me because they said the girl had once mentioned my name. It was after that visit that I gave her rat poison. I then contacted my friend and asked for his help to dig a hole where the girl would be buried.
“I demanded the sum of N6 million from the parents. I contacted them through the phone number her parents gave the school.
“This is the third school term since I have known Hanifa. I am the one that killed her. I murdered her at my family house with rat poison. I can’t remember the exact date we buried her.”
He said of the N6 million demanded as ransom, he had collected N100,000 before Hanifa was killed, adding that “I used N71,000 to pay the staff members of the other branch”.
On his part, Isyaku said Tanko only told him to dig a grave for a neighbour who had a miscarriage.
“Tanko told me his neighbour had a miscarriage and needed to quickly bury the baby. I objected and told him to take the baby to the graveyard in the town but he refused. So, I helped him to dig the grave,” he said.
“He called one night and brought a sack. I was the one that dug the grave and he offered to pay me after we buried the girl.
“He actually came to me about the issue of kidnapping and I told him that I will not be involved in such act.”
According to Abdullahi Kiyawa, police spokesperson in the state, the suspects will be charged to court upon completion of investigation.