EXCLUSIVE: Deborah Samuel’s Suspected Killers Were Charged To Court,’ Got Acquitted
The Nigeria Police Force, Sokoto State command, has admitted that the suspects arrested in the burning to death of a Christian female student, Deborah Samuel, for blasphemy were charged to court for “inciting and disturbance.”
The command said on Wednesday that it was not the fault of the police if the court exonerated the suspects saying the police had “done its own part.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Rufai Ahmad, stated these in an interview on the case of Deborah Samuel and Usman Buda, a butcher who was recently killed at the Sokoto Modern Abattoir in Mahuta Market.
On May 12, 2023, Emmanuel, a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, was attacked by a mob and set ablaze over comments purportedly considered to be an insult to Prophet Mohammed.
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.
Naija News House had reported that during the court proceedings, the suspects pleaded not guilty to the murder of the deceased.
They were subsequently discharged and acquitted by the court.
Speaking on the incident, the police spokesperson said, “On Deborah’s issue, police have done their own part by arraigning people in court. Those people that were arrested, like you said they were charged on inciting disturbance which is a bailable offence. When we charged them to court, we have done our own part. Court decided to vindicate them or release them, that is none of our business.
“That question should be directed to court. We have done our own part.”
Naija News House had also on May 18, 2023, reported that court documents revealed how the suspected killers of Deborah Emmanuel, a College of Education student, were freed after the Nigerian police prosecutors failed to show up in court.
In a five-page court judgement, delivered on January 30, 2023 in the Chief Magistrate Court I Gutwa, Sokoto seen by SaharaReporters, Chief Magistrate Shuaibu Ahmad, Esq set the suspects free due to the absence of the police prosecution during 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.
When visited the Abattoir market barely a week after a butcher, Usman Buda, who was stoned to death by extremist Muslims over an alleged blasphemous comment, the traders and the shop owners were unwilling to speak on the issues surrounding the death of Buda.
It was observed that the traders’ hesitation to speak to a journalist or an outsider about the occurrence may be related to the sensitivity of the situation and the conservative nature of Sokoto.
Speaking on the Buda case, the police spokesperson said, “We met that man helpless, unconscious. The investigation is still on. It is something we have to be careful of. It is something that needs to be done vividly in order to avoid any wrong or inconvenience along the investigation.”