A self acclaimed Islamic scholar, Adamu Alkali of Paiko in Pakoro local government area of Niger State, has been arraigned before a Minna Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly attempting to sell an 11-year-old boy, Usman Abubakar to some unknown buyers.
The prosecuting counsel, Mohammed Mustapha, told the court that Alkali connived with two commercial motorcyclists (okada riders) Haruna Idris and Baba Sha’aba, all of Lapai local government area of the state to abduct Usman, who they took to a hotel in Chanchanga, a suburb of Minna the state capital.
The prosecutor said they offered the boy for various amounts before they settled for ₦26 million, following which they brought the boy to the hotel to seal the deal but unknown to them, the prospective buyers were operatives of the State Security Service, who had trailed them to the hotel on a tip-off.
He said they agreed to collect the agreed amount in cash from the buyers and were arrested in the process.
Mr Mustapha said the alleged offence was contrary to section 79 and 273 of the Penal Code.
Mr Alkali admitted to committing the offence and pleaded for leniency, after the First Information Report (FIR) was read to them by the chief magistrate, Hassan Mohammed.
The chief magistrate, who tried him summarily, described Alkali as “fake and foolish,” insisting that he was one of those that assemble children under the disguise of teaching them Quran, while actually selling them for rituals.
He sentenced the scholar and his accomplices to 12 strokes of the cane in the court premises and four years imprisonment, without option of a fine.