Lawyer writes IGP, demands re-arrest of suspected killers of Deborah Samuel


Sunny Akanni, national coordinator of Olive Tree Citizen’s Rights Initiative (OTCRI), has petitioned Usman Baba, Inspector General of Police (IGP), demanding the re-arrest and prosecution of the two suspects arrested in connection with the murder of Deborah Samuel.
The suspects were on January 30, 2023 freed by the court for lack of diligent prosecution by the police.
Samuel, a student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, was murdered for alleged blasphemy by some Muslim students on May 12, 2022.
She was stoned to death and her remains was set ablaze for allegedly blaspheming Prophet Mohammed following an argument with a fellow Muslim student on a WhatsApp group platform.
Video footages of the brutal killing trended on social media showing a raging fire burning the remains of the deceased as a man faced the camera, displaying a match box, saying in Hausa language that he killed and burnt her.
Two suspects – Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunchi, were later arrested by the police in connection with the killing.
They were arraigned on May 16, 2022, before a Sokoto Chief Magistrate Court, for criminal conspiracy and inciting public disturbance, under section 60 and 79 of the Sokoto State Penal Code Laws 2019.
However, on January 30, 2023, the court struck out the case for lack of diligent prosecution by the police.
In the letter to the IGP dated May 20, 2023, Akanni threatened to sue the police if they failed to re-arrest the suspects and ensure diligent prosecution.
He alleged that the nonchalant attitude of the police prosecutor, led to the striking out of the case by the court.
The petition reads, “We are Counsel to Advocates Africa and The Olive Tree Citizen’s Rights
“Our Clients want us to bring to your attention the nonchalant attitude of your prosecuting police officer in the above case.
“It is our belief that you were not aware of his lack of seriousness in the
prosecution of this case that not only attracted national interest but international observers as well.
“We hereby attached to his letter the certified copies of the proceedings leading to the striking out of the case and demand that the two suspects be re-arrested and prosecuted accordingly.
“If this is not done, we shall file a suit in court compelling you to do same – a stitch in time saves nine.”


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