Deborah Samuel: One year later, prime suspects still at large

ONE year after Deborah Samuel, a female student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto state, was murdered by some Islamic extremists, the Nigeria police Force are yet to apprehend the prime suspects who killed her.

The public relations officer (PRO) of the Sokoto State Police Command Abubakar Sanusi confirmed this on Saturday May 13.

“We’re still on the trail of some of the prime suspects in connection with the murder. However, we have made arrests, and we’ve charged all the arrested suspects to court since then.

“The case is at the chief magistrate court 1 in Sokoto, and the arraigned suspects were/are remanded at the Nigerian Correctional Service, Sokoto State Correctional Centre, since 2022,” Sanusi said.

Samuel was lynched on May 12, 2022 by some youths in the state for what they described as blasphemy against Prophet Muhammed.

The victim had kicked against posting religious content on a WhatsApp group created for academic purposes, which led to the attack on her.

In a video that went viral in 2022, Samuel, dressed in pink, was lying unconscious on the floor while being mobbed, after which youths chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ set her on fire using motor tyres.



    One of the persons in the video confirmed he was part of those who mobbed and burnt her. He noted he struck the match that led to the fire.

    Two suspects, Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci, were arrested by the police and subsequently charged with taking part in the killing.

    At least, 34 lawyers appeared in court in defence of the suspected murderers.

    Citing sections 157, 161(a,f) and 164 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Sokoto State, as well as 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), the leader of the defence team, Mansur Ibrahim, pleaded with the court to grant the suspects bail.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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