Court orders mental evaluation for Kano cleric accused of blasphemy

An Upper Shari’a Court sitting in Kano, on Thursday, ordered that Sheikh Abduljabbar Nasiru-Kabara should be taken to Dawanau psychiatric hospital for mental evaluation.

Sheikh Abduljabar Nasir-Kabara. [BBC]

The Kano State Government charged Nasiru-Kabara, who lives in Gwale Quarters Kano, with four counts bordering on blasphemous comments.

Delivering a ruling, the Judge, Malam Ibrahim Sarki-Yola, ordered that the defendant be taken to Dawanau psychiatric Hospital Kano to ascertain his mental health.

Sarki-Yola also ordered that an ENT doctor at the Murtala Muhammed Specialist Hospital Kano must carry out some tests on the defendant.

Sarki-Yola adjourned the matter until Sept.16, for continuation of hearing.

Earlier, the judge held that the new charge must be read to the defendant to answer his plea according to the provisions of Section 390 (2) of Administration of Criminal Justice Law(ACJL) 2019.

“First Information Report is not a charge. The charge is an allegation of crime.

“Section 125(a) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law (ACJL) 2019, says in any trial, a prosecutor at any time may withdraw or add charge.

”I therefore terminate the FIR and order the new charge be read.”

The Prosecution Counsel, Suraj Sa’eda, had told the court that the defendant committed the offence on Aug.10, Oct.25 and Dec.20, 2019.

He alleged that the defendant made a blasphemous comments against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his marriage with Nana Safiyya in Jautul Fara section 93 (40) and hadith 1,365 and 1,428.

NAN reports that the defendant refused to answer whether he was guilty or not.

Sa’eda urged the court to order that the defendant undergoes mental evaluation since he refused to answer his plea according to the provisions of Section 278(3) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2019.

Responding, Defence Counsel, Mr Saleh Muhammad-Bakaro, opposed that new charge be read to his client.

He prayed the court to provide the copy of records of all the proceedings to enable him appeal the ruling at the State High court.

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