Blasphemy - Abduljabbar is ineligible for pro bono work, according to the Legal Aid Council.


Following the departure of his lawyer, Ambali Muhammad (SAN), from an ongoing blasphemy case, the Legal Aid Council of Nigeria has determined that Sheikh Abduljabbar Nasiru Kabara is ineligible for pro bono legal assistance.

A Kano Shari'a court in Kofar Kudu had ordered the council to provide Sheikh Abduljabbar with legal representation.

Since June of last year, Abduljabbar has been charged with making insulting words about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that the Kano State Government believes could incite the public.

Barrister Mukhtar Labaran Usman, the council's Kano Director, told the court yesterday that the Kano-based cleric was not eligible for the council's legal services since he earned more than the national minimum income of N30,000.

Sheikh Abduljabbar, on the other hand, claimed that he did not draw a salary and hence had no fixed income.

As a result, he requested free legal assistance.

Barrister Yakubu Abdullahi, the prosecution's lawyer, requested that the court appoint the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Kano State to defend Abduljabbar.

The accused, however, turned down the offer, accusing the state government of conspiring against him and claiming that it would not provide him with proper representation.

Ibrahim Sarki Yola, the Khadi, turned down the prosecution counsel's invitation to consult with the state's attorney general.

As a result, Yola directed the court's registrar to write Barrister Dalhatu Usman, a private lawyer, to serve as Abduljabbar's defence counsel, and the case was postponed until June 9.


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