Teenage wife, Wasila Tasi’u whose 35-year-old husband, Umar Sani allegedly died from a poisoned food she prepared yesterday refused to speak at the commencement of the hearings in Kano.
The case is before the High Court in Gezawa, a Local Government Area in Kano. The 14-year-old (pictured) is facing trial for allegedly sprinkled rat poison on the deceased’s food two weeks after their wedding in April at Unguwar Yansoro Village in the state.
Lead prosecutor Lamido Abba Soron-Dinki said that if proved, the charge is “punishable with death” and indicated the state would seek the maximum penalty.
Tasi’u entered the court wearing a cream-coloured hijab and was escorted by two policemen.
Her parents, who have condemned their daughter’s alleged act, were in the public gallery. The English-language charge sheet was translated into Hausa for the accused by the court clerk.
Tasi’u refused to answer when asked if she understood the charges.
The case was adjourned for 30 minutes so the charges could be better explained to the defendant, but when the alleged offences were read again Tasi’u stayed silent, turned her head to the wall and broke down in tears.
“The court records (that) she pleads not guilty,” Judge Mohammed Yahaya said, apparently regarding her silence as equal to a denial of the charges and adjourned the case until November 26.
Her lawyer, Hussaina Aliyu argued that under criminal law a 14-year-old cannot be charged with murder in a high court and has demanded that the case be moved to the juvenile system.