Deborah: 34 lawyers appear for two suspects in Sokoto

AUTHORITIES of the Sokoto State Police Command, on Monday, arraigned two suspects, Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci over the lynching of a 200-Level Home Economics student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Deborah Samuel, on May 12 for alleged blasphemy. 

The suspects, co-students of the deceased, were docked at a Sokoto Chief Magistrate’s Court for their alleged participation in the crime. 

They pleaded not guilty to the crime. Police prosecutor, Inspector Khalil Musa told the court that investigation was in progress. 

Leading a team of 34 lawyers, the defence counsel, Prof. Mansur Ibrahim, applied for their bail on liberal terms, citing constitutional provisions and sections of the administration of criminal justice law. 

The trial judge (name withheld for security reasons) reserved ruling on the bail application and ordered the accused to be remanded at a correctional centre. 

Before she was lynched, Deborah was accused of denigrating Islam on a WhatsApp chat platform set up by her course mates and refused to retract her post after she was asked to pull it down. 

A violent street protest followed the arrest of suspects linked to the lynching of Deborah as the protesters demanded their immediate release by security operatives. 

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However, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State consequently imposed a 24-hour curfew on Sokoto metropolis on Saturday. 

But, on Monday, his administration relaxed the 24 hour curfew imposed in the metropolis following a violent protest in the state capital over the arrest of some youths linked to the murder of Deborah. 

This was contained in a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information and Orientation , Isah Bajini and made available to the Nigerian Tribune on Monday. 

The statement noted that ‘sequel to the briefing by the security heads in the state, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has ordered the relaxation of the 24 hour curfew in force in Sokoto metropolis. 

According to the statement, “the revised curfew will now be from dusk to dawn in Sokoto township. This is with a view to afford people the window to pursue their legitimate businesses and other means of livelihood. The government, however, advised people to maintain peace in this regard, as it will not condone any breach of law and order in the state.”


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