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Murder of Ummukulsum: Counsel to Chinese accuses govt of tendering fake autopsy

A mild drama ensued during the resumed hearings of witnesses in the ongoing alleged murder of Ummukulsum Sani Buhari (Ummita) by her Chinese lover, Frank Geng Quarong, as the defence counsel in the case accused the state counsel of tendering a fake autopsy of the deceased before the court.

On Wednesday, the defence counsel, Barrister Muhammad Dan-Azumi, said the evidence tendered as verbal autopsy certifying the death of the victim by the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano, which the court admitted as Exhibit “D” was questionable in its entirety.

Dan-Azumi argued that the document is not the same as the original copy of the report obtained and tendered in black and white and on the letterheaded paper of the hospital.

He said: “This report is coming 90 days after the said incident happened which I personally tried to obtain earlier but there was no response from the hospital to date.”

Earlier, the court began proceeding with the hearing of the last prosecution witness, Police Constable Aminu Halilu attached to Dorayi Babba Police Division, who narrated how the incident happened, giving an account of the police’s involvement in the case to hospital certification and the subsequent release of the corpse to the victim’s relatives for burial.

Halilu further explained how after handing over the corpse for burial, he came back to the suspect at the station and took note of his side of the story.

“I came back to the police station where I met Mr Frank. I asked him to invite his relatives but he said they are in China, but he would call a friend who worked at BBY Textile Company. He called him on the phone but he did not show up for a few hours.

Later on, he permitted me to take his statement in the presence of his relatives and started narrating what happened between them from the day they met in 2019 up to 16th September 2022.

“Afterwards, I read to him his statement, and he understood and signed. Thereafter, I took him to my superior, Saifullahi Bello where he read the statement to him and he accepted what he read to him and acknowledged that what was recorded is true.”

He affirmed that the statement was also read to two witnesses, Fatima Zubairu and Mustapha. He thereafter, proceeded to visit the crime scene at Janbulo Quarters in the Kano metropolis, before he later compiled the case diary and the exhibit given to him (a sharp knife), after which the case was transferred to the state Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for further investigation.

The prosecution counsel led by Kano State Director of Public Prosecution, Aisha Muhammad had earlier tendered as evidence the statement of the suspect which the court admitted as Exhibit C which the police constable recognised but the defendant raised an objection claiming he made the statement under duress after he was threatened, handcuffed and pushed into a cell.

The defence counsel had, therefore, called for trial within trial but the judge argued that it was abolished in the ACJL relying on Section 38 (7) of the ACJL thereby admitting the statement as Exhibit C.

The judge, Justice Sunusi Ado Ma’aji, then closed the hearing of the prosecution counsel and adjourned the case to December 23, 2023.

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