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Lawyer petitions IGP, calls for re-arrest of suspected killers of Deborah Samuel

Lawyer petitions IGP, calls for re-arrest of suspected killers of Deborah Samuel
May 26
15:39 2023

Sunny Akanni, a lawyer, has petitioned Usman Baba, inspector general of police (IGP), to re-arrest the suspects linked with the murder of Deborah Samuel, a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto.

On May 12, Deborah was attacked by a mob who set her ablaze over comments purportedly considered to be an insult to Prophet Muhammad.

A video of the student being stoned and beaten with sticks was shared on social media.

The incident sparked outrage and condemnation across the country after which the police command in Sokoto arrested two suspects in connection with the killing.

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Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci, the suspects were later arraigned before a magistrate court in the state on charges bordering on criminal conspiracy and inciting public disturbance.

Between the arraignment in May and September 2022, the case was adjourned at the instance of the police for several reasons.

On October 20, 2022, the case started over before another magistrate, Shaibu Ahmed.

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But on January 30, 2023, the court struck out the case for lack of diligent prosecution by the police.

In the letter to the IGP, Akanni, who is also the national coordinator of Olive Tree Citizen’s Rights Initiative (OTCRI), alleged that the nonchalant attitude of the police prosecutor led to the striking out of the case by the court.

He threatened to sue the police if they failed to re-arrest the suspects and ensure diligent prosecution.

“We are counsel to Advocates Africa and The Olive Tree Citizen’s Rights,” the petition reads.

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“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 the same – a stitch in time saves nine.”

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