June 16, 2024

Amnesty International Says Nigerian Government Must Find, Prosecute Deborah Samuel’s Killers

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Amnesty International, global human rights body, has called for the arrest and prosecution of killers of Deborah Samuel Yakubu, a female Christian student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Sokoto State.

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Recall Deborah, a second-year Christian college student, was stoned to death by a mob of Muslim students in Sokoto, Northwest Nigeria, after being accused of blasphemy against Islam on May 12, 2022.

Few days after, a Magistrate Court sitting in Sokoto State remanded the two suspects, Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci, arrested in connection with her murder.

During the court proceedings, the suspects pleaded not guilty to the murder of the deceased.

They were subsequently discharged and acquitted by the court.

In a five-page court judgment, delivered on January 30, 2023 in the Chief Magistrate Court I Gutwa, Sokoto, Chief Magistrate Shuaibu Ahmad, Esq set the suspects free due to the absence of the police prosecution during a series of hearings.

The charges against them, criminal conspiracy and inciting public disturbance, should have carried a maximum of two-year jail term upon conviction.

Recently, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, lamented the lack of justice for Deborah about two years after she was brutally killed and burnt by a mob in Sokoto for alleged blasphemy.

Soyinka who was the Guest Speaker at the PUNCH 50th Anniversary Public Lecture on Thursday, during his lecture with the theme, ‘Recovering The Narrative,’ described as sad that none of Deborah’s killers had been brought to justice.

Now, the death of Dele Giwa is close to 50 years (40 years). If last week, a judge still found it possible, logical and constitutional to order the Attorney General of the nation to bring Dele Giwa’s killers to justice, then what happened in the case of Deborah Samuel? 

“Just what happened there? Why? Is that case merely forgotten already? It went beyond that. It was not just that Deborah Samuel was killed and that the suspects were set free,” Soyinka said.

In a post on its X handle on Monday night, Amnesty International said that more than a year after she was killed, the Nigerian authorities have failed to hold the killers to account, therefore, the organisation demanded that the Nigerian authorities must ensure that Deborah’s killers are brought to justice.

Amnesty wrote, “#Deborah Samuel was lynched by her school mates over alleged blasphemy on 12 May 2022 in #Sokoto. More than a year after, the Nigerian authorities have failed to hold her killers to account.

“The Nigerian authorities must ensure that the killers of Deborah Samuel are brought to justice.”

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