The team of 34 lawyers who appeared in court yesterday to defend two suspects arrested over the killing of Deborah Samuel were led by a Professor, Mansur Ibrahim.
The suspects were arraigned in court following their arrest last week over their roles in the gruesome murder of Deborah, who until her death was a student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto State.
She was stoned to death and then burnt by her colleagues over alleged blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad on a WhatsApp group.
The suspects – Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci were brought before a Sokoto Chief Magistrates’ Court for their alleged participation in the crime.
They pleaded not guilty when the charges against them were read in court.
Police prosecutor Inspector Khalil Musa told the court that an investigation was in progress on the matter. He appealed to the court for another date to allow the police conclude their investigation.
Prof. Ibrahim, who led the defence team for the suspects, after the presentations, did not oppose the move of the prosecuting lawyer, but applied for bail for his clients on liberal grounds.
The trial judge (name withheld for security reasons), reserved the ruling on the bail application, but ordered the accused to be remanded at the Sokoto Correctional Centre.
The court thereafter adjourned ruling on the application to a later date, which would be communicated to the lawyers.
Sokoto State Government yesterday relaxed the 24-hour curfew in force in the state capital, Sokoto.
Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, according to a statement by the Commissioner for Information, Alhaji Isah Bajini Galadanci, has revised the curfew from dusk to dawn in Sokoto metropolis.
Tunde Bakare, serving overseer of The Citadel Global Community Church, formerly known as the Latter Rain Assembly, has condemned the killing of Deborah.
In a statement yesterday, Bakare said as a former Muslim, he had read Quran from “cover to cover” and nowhere in the holy book justified killings.
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) says it will petition international organisations to call the government to order and to be more serious in dealing with religious violence in Nigeria.
In a chat with Arise TV yesterday, Samson Ayokunle, president of the CAN, said the government “has not been able to take decisive action” on cases of religious violence and “the entire world needs to hear.”
The General Overseer of Omega Power Ministries, Chibuzor Chinyere, has offered “automatic scholarships” to the seven siblings of Deborah.
The deceased’s mother, Aileri Emmanuel, on Sunday said she would never send her remaining seven children to school because of the barbaric murder of her daughter.
The deceased’s father, Garba, a security guard with the Niger State Water and Sanitation, lamented that he used his whole savings to send his eldest child (Deborah) to school.
Reacting in a Facebook post yesterday, Chinyere promised Deborah’s parents jobs and a better life.