Late Deborah Samuel
Police on Monday arraigned two suspects, Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci over the lynching of late Deborah Samuel, over alleged blasphemy on May 12.
Deborah a 200-Level Home Economics student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto State, was lynched to death by her co-students.
The suspects were arraigned at a Sokoto Chief Magistrates’ Court for their alleged participation in the crime.
They pleaded not guilty to the crime.
Prosecuting Inspector Khalil Musa told the court that an investigation was in progress as Deborah’s corpse was still in a morgue at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto.
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 the ruling on the bail application and ordered the accused to be remanded at a correctional centre.
Before she was lynched, Deborah was accused of blasphemy on WhatsApp chat platform set up by her coursemates 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.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal consequently imposed a 24-hour curfew on Sokoto metropolis on Saturday.
He relaxed the curfew on Monday to be observed from dusk to dawn.
Writing by Abdullahi Lamino; Editing by Tina Oyinsan