Thursday, June 8, 2023

Police charged killers of Deborah Samuel but failed to appear, court documents reveal

According to the document, the police prosecutor did not send any correspondence or any reason to the court why he is absent.

• May 18, 2023
Muyiwa Adejobi and Deborah Samuel
Muyiwa Adejobi and Deborah Samuel

A court document has revealed how Nigerian police charged the killers of Deborah Samuel, a Christian student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Wamako, Sokoto State, with “public disturbance,” and failed to show up in court, letting the killers off the hook.

In 2022, Ms Samuel was mobbed at the school’s security post by angry students who hit her repeatedly with sticks and stones before setting her ablaze. The barbaric act was widely condemned by Nigerians. 

The court document which revealed how the police charged Ms Samuel’s killer with “public disturbance” contrary to their actual crime emerged on Twitter Thursday. It came as Nigerians raised queries about her murder seeing how the police swiftly arrested Afro musician Seun Kuti, who assaulted a police officer last week.

To douse criticisms, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, spokesman for Nigeria Police, on Thursday, gave an update on Ms Samuel’s case, revealing how the police charged the killers to a “magistrate court.”

“DEBORAH: Update on suspects arrested from the legal department Sokoto

The suspects: 1. Bilyaminu Aliyu 2. Aminu Hukunchi Who are also students of the college were arrested and arraigned on Monday 16/05/2022 at Chief Magistrate Court Gwiwa, Sokoto,” Mr Adejobi tweeted.

Mr Adejobi, however, did not mention how Nigeria Police, an institution notorious for miscarrying justice, failed to show up in court, allowing the murderers evade justice. 

Responding to Mr Adejobi’s tweet, a Twitter user, @letter_to_jack, released court documents exposing the role police played in allowing Ms Samuel’s killer to escape justice.

Hello @Princemoye1, this report from The Insight detailed that Chief Magistrate Court I Gutwa, Sokoto, Chief Magistrate Shuaibu Ahmad, Esq set the suspects free in January 2023 due to the absence of the Police prosecution during the hearings. Why didn’t you add that?, @letter_to_jack, tweeted, sharing the court document.

The document reads: “The defendants are facing trial for the alleged offences of Criminal conspiracy and public disturbance contrary to S. 60(2) and 78 of SSPC 2018. 

“The case was slated today for hearing. Unfortunately, the prosecutor or prosecution Insp. Khalid Musa is copiously absent. We want to know from the court whether he forwarded any reasons for his absence.” 

According to the document, the police prosecutor did not send any correspondence or any reason to the court why he is absent. 

This development comes as another revelation of how Nigeria Police frustrate justice in Nigeria, damaging public confidence in public institutions.

Before Ms Samuel, killers of Bridget Agbahime, another Christian woman murdered by Islamic fanatics in Kano, were let off the hook. 

After Ms Samuel was lynched in 2022, supporters of her killers hit the streets in protest, demanding the release of the killers who they praised as defender of Islam.

Though the video of Samuel’s gruesome murder was shared on Twitter, with one of her killers boldly saying he killed and burnt her, Nigeria Police showed no real interest in bringing the murderers to justice. 

Peoples Gazette had reported how the police claimed the person in the video was from Niger Republic and had escaped to his country.

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