The Upper Shari’ah Court sitting at Kofar Kudu in Kano State, has ordered embattled cleric, Sheik Abduljabbar Nasiru Kabara, to undergo mental and hearing checks.
Justice Ibrahim Sarki-Yola, the presiding judge, gave the order on Thursday, following a request by the prosecution counsel, Surajo Sa’ida.
Kabara, who is facing charges on blasphemy brought against him by the Kano State government, has refused to answer all the new charges against him.
Sarki-Yola ordered that the cleric be examined by a psychiatrist at Dawanau Psychiatric Hospital in the state for check on his mental health, as well as by an audiologist at Murtala Muhammad Specialists Hospital, to find out why he has refused to respond to all the new charges read to him.
Sa’ida had earlier read four new count charges against the cleric bothering on blasphemy and using offensive words on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during his teachings, which according to him, are against the provisions of section 382(b) of Kano State Shari’ah Law, 2000.
However, the presiding judge ruled that the cleric’s silence to all the charges implied that he is pleading “not guilty” as provided by section 278 (i) of ACGL, 2019.
Earlier, the defendant counsel, Saleh M. Bakaro, argued that the prosecution counsels have no right to withdraw the initial First Information Report (FIR) form, with the intention of replacing it with fresh charges.
But the judge ruled that the form could be replaced by the prosecuting counsels, in line with the provisions of section 390 (i) of ACGL, 2015.
Consequently, Bakaro requested for all the court’s proceedings from the date of the first arraignment for them to appeal to Kano State High Court, especially on the replacement of the first charges in the first FIR with a new one and the subsequent reintroduction of four new Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) by the state government, which he argued did not have jurisdiction under the court’s provisions.