Human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, has described the charges of “criminal conspiracy and inciting of public disturbance” filed against the two suspects arrested over the killing of Deborah Samuel, as an insult to Nigerians and to the parents of the deceased.
Adegboruwa said the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal, a former lawmaker, knew the law but wanted to override the life of a citizen entrusted to his care with his political ambition.
He called on Governor Tambuwal to rather resign now than go down in history as the Governor under whose watch a citizen was murdered and he could not enforce the laws of the land but rather aided and abetted its cover up.
Condemning the charges made against the suspected killers, Adegboruwa said, “The criminal charges, Criminal Conspiracy and Inciting Public Disturbance as framed by the Sokoto State Government against hardened murderers is an insult to the sensibilities of the parents of the deceased, the people of Nigeria and God who created Deborah.
“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 of partaking in the murder abound, with one displaying the match stick with which the deceased was set ablaze. 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.
“Nigeria cannot work this way at all. I’m truly saddened by this development. I expected the governor as Visitor to that school to have visited the parents of the deceased, who trusted the authorities and sent their ward to school from Niger State to Sokoto State, in furtherance of the mantra of a united Nigeria.”
According to Adegboruwa, if the impression Nigerians get with all the charges is that the state itself endorsed the murder of the deceased, “then we are sowing the seeds of discord and fragmentation.”
He advised that “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;” saying “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.”
He insisted that “It is Governor Tambuwal who is actually on trial in this case.”
Two suspects, Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci, were arraigned on Monday before the Sokoto Chief Magistrate’s court for their alleged participation in the killing of the 200-level female Christian student.
But the suspects pleaded not guilty to the crime.
The suspects were represented by a team of 34 lawyers led by the defence counsel, Prof Mansur Ibrahim.
Saharareporters, New York