A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa has said that the Sokoto State government is by the fact of charging Islamic extremists with watery charges “shown itself complicit in this whole drama” of the murder of Deborah Samuel
Deborah, a 200-level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto was lynched by her coursemates last Thursday over an allegation of blasphemy of Prophet Muhammad. Two of her classmates alleged to have been involved in the barbaric act were on Monday 16th May, arraigned before a magistrate court sitting in Sokoto.
But Mr Adegboruwa while reacting to the charge slammed on the accused persons said the criminal charge of ‘Criminal Conspiracy and Inciting Public Disturbance’ as farmed by the Sokoto State government against the accused persons is an insult to the sensibilities of the parents of the deceased, the people of Nigeria and God who created Deborah.
In a message titled: The Conspiracy in Sokoto, the senior lawyer maintained that: “This crime took place in an enlightened environment in a higher institution, under the watch of security men, who were said to have been overpowered.
“It all started from a WhatsApp group, which has identified leaders. There are students who sent messages and threats of death on that platform. Their phone numbers are registered with NIN identification. They belong to a class in the school so they are known individuals.
“Images of persons who openly and boastfully confessed to partaking in the murder abound, with one displaying the match stick with which the deceased was set ablaze.”
Adegboruwa further stated that: “The government of Sokoto State has by these charges shown itself complicit in this whole drama and it is most unfortunate, for a State that is headed by a lawyer, a former Speaker of the House of Representatives and who is aspiring to rule Nigeria as its President.
“It is most uncharitable of His Excellency to have condoned this baseless charge. It is better to set the suspects free rather than claim to try them.
“The aftermath of this gruesome murder, the watery charges filed and the consenting attitude of those concerned have depressed me more than the act itself”.
Adegboruwa further pointed out that he expect the governor of Sokoto State as the Visitor to that school to have visited the parents Deborah Samuel who trusted the authorities and sent their ward to school from Niger to Sokoto state, in furtherance of the mantra of a united Nigeria.
“If the impression we get with all these charges is that the state itself endorsed the murder of the deceased, then we are sowing the seeds of discord and fragmentation.
“The political ambition of Governor Aminu Tambuwal should not override the life of a citizen entrusted to his care but who was murdered in cold blood. It is better for His Excellency to resign now, rather than go down in history as the governor under whose watch a citizen was murdered and the governor could not enforce the laws of the land but rather aided and abetted its cover-up.
“It is Governor Tambuwal who is actually on trial in this case”, Adegboruwa concluded.