One year after a female student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto State, Deborah (Samuel) Yakubu, was killed by some extremist Muslim students over alleged blasphemy against Islamic Prophet, Mohammed bin Abdullah, the Nigeria Police Force has said it is still on the trail of prime suspects culpable in the immolation.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Sokoto State Police Command, Abubakar Sanusi, confirmed the development to Sunday PUNCH during a telephone interview with our correspondent on Saturday evening.
The deceased, a 200-level student was set ablaze on May 12, 2022, after she reportedly advised her classmates against posting religious contents on their department’s WhatsApp group which was created for academic purposes.
Videos of Deborah being stoned, beaten with sticks and immolated by some of her Muslim colleagues, which was seen by our correspondent, was shared widely on all social media platforms.
Few days after the incident, the police announced the arrest of two suspects; Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci, in connection to Deborah’s murder, and they were arraigned on May 16, 2022, at the Sokoto Chief Magistrate Court for their alleged participation in the crime.
However, a total number of 34 lawyers led by one Professor Mansur Ibrahim, allegedly sponsored by some public figures, stormed the court in defence of the suspected killers.
But responding to an inquiry by our correspondent on Saturday, the PPRO, DSP Sanusi, said the police were still on the trail of some of the prime suspects, adding that several arrests had been made in connection to Deborah’s death.
He stated that the arrested suspects had been arraigned.
Sanusi said, “We’re still on the trail of some of the prime suspects in connection with the murder. However, we have made arrest, 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.”