A Kano State High Court on Tuesday ordered the State government to provide an interpreter for a Chinese national, Geng Quangrong,47, charged with the alleged murder of his Nigerian girlfriend, Ummukulsum Sani (Ummita), 22.
The defendant is facing a count charge of culpable homicide, contrary to section 221 of the Penal Code.
When the case came up for re-arraignment, the Defence Counsel, Muhammad Dan’azumi, urged the court to provide an interpreter for his client relying on Section 36(6)(a)(b)(c) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“My Lord the defendant is not a Nigerian. The use of English in the court as a language may not be understood by my client and he may not understand the charge he is standing trial for.
“The defendant is entitled to an interpreter from English to the Chinese language, he is exploring his Constitutional rights,” he said.
The defendant was asked if he understands the English language and he said no.
The Prosecution Counsel, Kano State Attorney General, Musa Abdullahi-Lawan told the court that he had directed the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, to write a letter to the Chinese Embassy and Chinese Community in Kano requesting for an interpreter on behalf of the defendant.
“The defendant spoke good English at the last adjourned date of Sept. 29.
“When we get an interpreter we will finish the case in a very short time,” Mr Abdullahi-Lawan said.
Justice Sanusi Ado-Ma’aji ordered the Kano State Government to write to the Chinese Embassy to provide an interpreter for the defendant.
He ordered the remand of the defendant in a Correctional Center and adjourned the matter until Oct.27, for arraignment.
Ummukulsum was allegedly stabbed to death by Geng in her Kabuga quarters in Kano city for unconfirmed reasons.
Mr Geng was first charged before a Senior Magistrate’s court for a similar charge. But the state counsel raised an objection for further prosecution, insisting that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to hear such a criminal suit.