An Upper Shari’a Court sitting in Kano, on Thursday, ordered that an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abduljabbar Nasiru-Kabara, be referred to the Dawanau Psychiatric Hospital for mental evaluation.

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

The prosecution counsel, Suraj Sa’eda, told the court that the defendant on August 10, October 25 and December 20, 2019, made blasphemous comments against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the prophet’s marriage to Nana Safiyya in Jautul Fara Section 93 (40) and Hadith 1,365 and 1,428.

The defendant, however, refused to answer whether he was guilty or not.

Delivering the ruling, the judge, Malam Ibrahim Sarki-Yola, ordered that his mental condition be ascertained.

Also, Sarki-Yola ordered that an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) doctor at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano, must carry out comprehensive tests on the defendant to ascertain his health condition.

He adjourned the matter till September 16 for continuation of hearing.

Earlier, the judge held that a new charge brought against the defendant must be read to him so he could take his plea based on Section 390 (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2019.

He said, “First Information Report is not a charge; a charge is an allegation of crime.

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

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

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