Diary of an ignoble Teacher-kidnapper


Tanko the killer-teacher and Hanifa

By Richard Elesho
The story reads like a script written from the pit of hell. The name of the school is Noble Kids Nursery and Primary School, Dakatar, Nasarawa, Kano. But Abdulmalik Mohammed Tanko, its 34-year old proprietor, who feigns mentoring impressive kids, is anything but noble.
In a country battling with insecurity, where bandits regularly invade schools to abduct victims for ransom he took criminality to a new low, by masterminding the abduction and murder of his 5-year-old pupil, Hanifa Abubakar, after which he still colleced N6 million as ransom.
He and two collaborators are now cooling with the Kano State Police Command confessing to the act.
The idea was first conceived in November but suspended for undisclosed reasons. However by 4 December, the time was considered auspicious for its execution.
Tanko set aside the ethics of his teaching profession and trailed the innocent girl to a Quranic school. On sighting him, Hanifa recognised him as ‘Uncle’ a term commonly used by pupils and secondary school students across the country for teachers. Promptly, he abducted her in a tricycle.
Kano State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO Abdullahi Haruna-Kiyawa in a statement gave more details. “In Dec. 4, 2021, at about 20:30 hours, a report was received from a resident of Dakata Quarters, Nassarawa, Kano State, that one Hanifa Abubakar, 5, was kidnapped and a ransom of N6 million was demanded,” he said.
“Sustained efforts and prolonged follow up led to the arrest of Abdulmalik Mohammed-Tanko, 34, and Hashim Isyaku, 37, all of Tudun Murtala quarters, by a detective team of the Department of State Service (DSS).
“During investigation, Mohammed-Tanko confessed that the victim, Hanifa was his student at a private school in Kwanar Dakata, Nassarawa, Kano State. He kidnapped her and took her to his house where he contacted her relatives and demanded a ransom of N6 million.
On Dec. 18, 2021, having realized that the victim recognized him, he claimed to have poisoned her to death. He conspired with Hashim Isyaku, and buried her in a grave located at the private school premises at Kwanar ‘Yan Gana, Tudun Murtala,” he said.
He further added that Isyaku also confessed that, in November, 2021, the principal suspect and one Fatima Musa, 27, met and ordered him to kidnap the girl. They arranged for the kidnapping, but later rescinded the action. Fatima was also arrested in connection with the offence,” he said.
The PPRO revealed that the suspects led a combined team of DSS operatives, police command’s medical team and Operation Puff Adder to the grave, from where the body was exhumed and taken to Mohammed Abdullahi Wase Specialists Hospital, Kano, for examination before it was released to the relatives for burial according to Islamic rites.
As the story has led to #JusticeForHanifa currently trending across social media in the country, further details of the bestiality have emerged.
It was gathered that the killer first took the victim to his house, where he reportedly lied to his wife about her identity. As the story of the missing girl went viral in the community, the abductor visited her parents and shed crocodile tears.
Suraj Sulaiman, an uncle of Late Hanifa disclosed that Tanko shed tears when he visited the parents to console them. He said “He was full of tears when he visited the family to console them over the abduction.”
See his reported confession:
“I picked her inside Keke NAPEP and I carried her to my own house where I lied to my wife that the girl was a daughter to one of the women working in my school and that the mother traveled and pleaded with us to keep the girl for some days. My wife accepted and kept the girl for that reason.
“I realized that the girl’s parents were informed that while picking her, she made mention of ‘uncle’. This gave me the impression that they might be suspecting me as the uncle.
“Then after some time, after some days, some of my teachers visited my house very early in the morning and when they came, I was also suspecting that they were sent over to the house to find out whether the girl was there with me; that was on the 5th day after the kidnap.
“So, I decided that it was better I found a way before I would be caught. I first thought of sending this girl to another state but again, I thought the whole town was aware that she was missing. If the girl was going to be sent out through the main roads, we would be caught. So, that was when I concaved the idea of killing her.”
How innocent Hanifa was killed
“I picked her at home; she was already sleeping, it was getting to 11pm. I picked her up… I used to take tea always… I was drinking tea at that time, so I put the remaining tea in an empty container of BoBo yoghurt and then I poured in this rat killer poison inside and gave it to the girl, not in my own house.
“When we went to the other school, when we were passing, I told her that I was taking her back to her uncle’s house so as we were going, I gave her the drink on the road and she drank it and then we entered one branch of the school, the branches are two. We entered the other branch with her and I told her I was going to pick something inside. She entered and that was where she finally died.
“I bought the poison 100 naira. I buried her in the school. Let me clear this doubt. People are thinking that it has to do with ritual, this is not rituals. I buried her inside the school simply because I was not able to find any secure place to dig a hole.”
A case of ‘the heart of man’ being ‘desperately wicked’, you will say! Nigerians, including President Muhammodu Buhari and Kano Governor Abdullahi Ganduje are calling for accelerated justice.