A farmer, Akilu Saidu, said on Tuesday that he was under the influence of drugs when he attacked his four-year-old step-daughter, Saratu Yahuza, who later died.

Saidu told journalists shortly before he was arraigned for culpable homicide before a Katsina State Senior Magistrates’ Court.

The 30-year-old father of six also said that he was confused and remorseful when he later learnt that the step-daughter died at the hospital.

Saidu said, “How could I have intentionally killed her? Saratu was like a daughter to me. I have six children from another wife while Saratu’s mother is even pregnant for me; I married her mother about six months ago.

“On the day of the incident, I recalled that I bought a drug from a chemist in our village and shortly thereafter the incident happened.

“It was my uncle who rushed Saratu to the hospital where she later died. I am indeed sorry about the incident.”

The presiding magistrate, Hajiya Falile Dikko, however, adjourned the case till October 31, 2017 for mention.

She directed that Saidu should be remanded in prison custody till then.

The police prosecutor, Inspector Sani Ado, had earlier told the court that investigation into the incident was ongoing.

According to him, the police picked up Saidu shortly after he had allegedly murdered his step-daughter.

Ado said the incident occurred on September 17 at Yankara Village in the Faskari Local Government Area of Katsina State.

He said Saidu beat and dragged the girl to an uncompleted building where he allegedly broke her neck.

He further revealed that Saratu was later rushed to Funtua General Hospital where a doctor confirmed her dead.

The incident was subsequently reported to the police at Faskari by Saratu’s biological father, Yahuza Yakubu, while the case was later transferred to the police Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department in Katsina for further investigation.

The police prosecutor, however, said Saidu has reportedly confessed to committing the crime to police interrogators.

The Katsina police command spokesman, DSP Gambo Isah, confirmed the incident, noting that the accused person might have been under the influence of psychotropic substances.

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