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Hanifa Abubakar: Court admits 10 exhibits against suspected killers

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Hanifa Abubakar

Nasiru Yusuf

Kano state High Court presided over by Justice Usman Na’abba has admitted 10 exhibits tendered by prosecution counsel Musa Lawan against suspected killers.

KANO FOCUS reports that the prosecution counsel who is also the state Attorney General tendered the exhibits through third witness police inspector Ubale Usman attached to Anti Kidnapping squad Kano command.

The exhibits include coroner’s form duly signed by a medical doctor (exhibit 1), four mobile phones (exhibit 2) comprised of three used by the prime suspect to contact Hanifa’s parents and one belonging to Hanifa’s mother, photocopy of Hanifa’s picture obtained from the suspects in the course of investigation (exhibit 3) and N30,300 (exhibit 4).

Lawyers in the courtroom

Other exhibits include shovel used allegedly used in burying late Hanifa,  school uniform badge (exhibit 6)  cardigan (exhibit 7) and white veil (exhibit 8).

The remaining are two photographs given to police by Hanifa’s parent when they reported her missing (exhibit 9) and computer generated photographs duly certified by IT expert in line with section 54 of evidence act.

The third prosecution witnesses told the court that in the course of investigation Abdulmamik Tanko confessed how he kidnapped Hanifa, killed her with rat poison and buried her in a shallow grave at Northwest Preparatory College with the support of his friend Hashim Isyaku.

He said the suspects have later led the team of SSS and police to where they buried the victim.

While cross examining the prosecution witness, the defense counsel Mukhtar Labaran Usman asked him how he established the cardigan and white veils belongs to late Hanifa. Mr Usman answered that it was through the victims parents.

The trial judge adjourned the case to Thursday for continuation of hearing as the case was slated for March 2 and 3.

The trial

Mr Tanko and one of his alleged accomplices, Isyaku, have pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy but denied four other charges in the murder trial.

However, the other suspect, Fatima Jibrin, denied all the charges at the previous sitting

The suspects were arraigned at state High Court No. 6 before judge Usman Na-Abba.

They were charged with criminal conspiracy, kidnapping, concealing/keeping in confinement a kidnapped person and culpable homicide, offences contrary to Sections 97, 274, 277 and 221 of the Penal Code.

Hanifa was allegedly kidnapped and murdered by Mr Tanko, who was her teacher, and the other suspects.

The Attorney General had earlier informed the court that sometime in Nov. 2021, the defendants conspired and kidnapped the five-year-old Hanifa while she was returning from Islamiyya school.

He alleged that Tanko, the proprietor of Nobel Kids Comprehensive College, Kano, had on Dec. 4, 2021, kidnapped and held Hanifa hostage in his house situated at Tudun Murtala for days and killed her with poison.

“In the process, the second defendant Isyaku buried her in a shallow grave in the premises of Northwest Preparatory School situated at Kwanar Yan Ghana, Tudun Murtala, Kano.

“On Dec. 27, 2021, the third defendant Musa wrote a letter to the victim’s family, on behalf of Tanko, demanding the sum of six million Naira as ransom.”

Journalists barred from covering court proceedings

KANO FOCUS had earlier reported how Attorney-General, has barred journalists from covering the trial on Wednesday.

Mr Lawan said the decision is to enable operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) to testify before the court.

He also directed reporters to vacate the corridor of the court premises until after the first session (security testimony).

Journalists stranded

When asked on why journalists were barred from witnessing the testimony of SSS operatives, Lawan said the proceedings involves testifying and cross examination on how investigation was conducted which led to the arrest of suspected kidnappers.

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Dangote Refinery imports additional 11m barrels of US crude oil due to domestic supply shortage

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

 

Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals has issued a tender for an additional 11 million barrels of US crude oil over the next six months due to Nigerian crude oil producers’ inability to meet its feedstock requirements.

KANO FOCUS reports that the 650,000 barrels per day refinery has already received 9 million barrels of West Texas Intermediate crude from the US since the beginning of 2024 to offset unreliable domestic supplies. The new tender, closing on July 21, aims to procure two million barrels per month of WTI Midland crude for the world’s largest single-train facility located in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos, for the next six months starting in August.

In a tender reported by Bloomberg, Dangote Refinery purchased five million barrels of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Midland crude for delivery in the upcoming months of August and September. Additionally, the company initiated a tender process to acquire an additional six million barrels of American crude for September.

This reliance on US crude highlights Nigeria’s challenges in meeting its own refining needs, attributed to issues such as crude theft, aging infrastructure, and underinvestment, which have led to a decline in production. In April, Nigeria’s daily output was only 1.45 million barrels, well below its capacity of 2.6 million barrels per day. The country recorded an estimated 30 million barrels underproduction in the first four months of 2024.

Dangote Refinery, crucial to Nigeria’s goal of becoming a net exporter of petroleum products, has found it necessary to import crude to sustain operations amidst insufficient domestic supply.

President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, stated during the Africa CEO Forum 2024 that the refinery will need to continue importing crude as production scales up and alternative supply contracts are sought.

“It also makes economic sense for us to tender for crude. If we could source 100 percent Nigerian crude, then fine, but we can’t wait,” said Dangote.

Commenting on the challenge with sourcing crude locally, Dangote added, “there is a bit of a problem for us to source the entire volume of crude that we’re looking for domestically because we need different types and mixes. Unless crude production improves – which we pray and hope for – we need to go elsewhere.”

The refinery took in more than 41 million barrels of feedstock in the first half of the year as it completed test runs and gradually increased processing rates, tanker-tracking data show. Of that, about a quarter has been American supply.

According to CAS, the refinery took delivery of 11 WTI cargoes, or 9 million barrels, between February and May, contrasting with around 18 million barrels of Nigerian crude deliveries.

Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), NNPC has struggled to meet its 300,000 barrels per day obligation to the refinery due to operational constraints.

International financial analytics corporation, S&P Global, recently described the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals company as capable of resolving Nigeria’s foreign exchange (forex) issue and its huge pressure on the local Naira currency, while also catalysing the country’s economic development.

S&P Global, headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, disclosed this during an onsite visit to the refinery as part of its sovereign credit ratings assessment of Nigeria. The team from the international rating agency were accompanied by officials from the Federal Ministry of Finance.

S&P noted that the refinery would bolster Nigeria’s oil sector and, more importantly, also have a positive impact on its growing economy.

Currently operating at 350,000 barrels per day capacity, Vice President of Oil and Gas at Dangote Industries Limited (DIL), Devakumar Edwin, recently disclosed that the refinery would scale up to at least 500,000 barrels per day capacity by July/August, commencing the refining of petrol and ultra-low sulphur diesel.

He noted that the refinery, designed to process a wide range of crudes including various African and Middle Eastern crudes, as well as US Light Oil, conforms to Euro V specifications. In addition, it is designed to comply with US EPA, European Union (EU) emission norms, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) emission/effluent norms, and the African Refiners and Distribution Association (ARDA) standards.

While noting that most refineries were built by foreign companies, he said it is a thing of pride that a Nigerian company designed and built the world’s largest single-train refinery complex while acting directly as its own Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) contractor. The refinery which also incorporates a self-sufficient marine facility capable of handling the world’s largest vessels, can meet 100% of Nigeria’s requirement of all liquid products (Gasoline, Diesel, Kerosene & Aviation Jet) and have surplus of each of these products for export.

 

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UNICEF Commends Governor Yusuf for Education Prioritization in Kano State

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Mukhtar Yahya Usman

In a gesture of appreciation, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has praised Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State for his steadfast commitment to enhancing the education sector within Kano.

During a cordial meeting at the Kano Government House on Thursday, the Country Director, Mrs. Christain Munduate, extolled the enduring partnership between UNICEF and Kano State, advocating for its reinforcement to yield greater mutual benefits and collaborative opportunities.

This was contained in a statement issued by the Governor’s spokesperson Mr. Sanusi Bature Dawakin Tofa and made available to journalists in Kano.

Mrs. Munduate reiterated UNICEF’s unwavering support for the state in both the Health and Education sectors, emphasizing the imperative for Kano State to fulfill its counterpart funding obligations for the Malnutrition project.

In response, Governor Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf called for increased support and goodwill from UNICEF and other donor agencies, highlighting Education and Health as pivotal realms necessitating additional assistance due to their fundamental importance in societal progress.

Governor Yusuf pinpointed Malnutrition and poliomyelitis as pressing health concerns, particularly affecting children and other vulnerable demographics.

Detailing the notable achievements in the education sector under his administration, Governor Yusuf underscored his government’s dedication to providing essential infrastructure, educational resources, modern classrooms, teacher training programs, and fostering an enriching environment conducive to learning.

Furthermore, in the realm of healthcare, Governor Yusuf emphasized the state’s endeavors to ensure complimentary medical services for women and children, overhauling of hospitals, and furnishing healthcare facilities with requisite equipment.

Assuring the visiting delegation, Governor Yusuf expressed the State’s commitment to doubling the counterpart funding contribution compared to Jigawa State for combating the pressing issue of Malnutrition.

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NiMet predicts morning thunderstorms in Kano on Friday

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Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted morning thunderstorms on Friday over parts of Kano State.

KANO FOCUS reports that NiMet’s weather outlook released on Thursday in Abuja envisaged thunderstorms over parts of Jigawa, Kebbi, Kaduna, Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe and Bauchi States on Sunday.

The agency anticipated thunderstorms over parts of Katsina State, Zamfara, Sokoto State and Kebbi.

The agency urged the public to take adequate precautions as strong winds may precede the rains in areas where thunderstorms are likely to occur.

NiMet advised Airline operators to get updated weather reports and forecasts from NiMet for effective planning in their operations.

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