The Nigerian Bar Association has urged the Sokoto State Government to redraft the charge sheet against the defendants standing trial due to the recent killing of Deborah Samuel in Sokoto.
The union said it has postponed its Annual NBA-SPIDEL (NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law) conference scheduled to hold in Sokoto as a sign of respect to the late Deborah.
Deborah, a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto was killed and her body was burnt last Thursday by fellow students after she was accused of blasphemy.
The statement released by the NBA president, Olumide Akpata, on Tuesday described the incident as barbaric and unacceptable.
The statement reads: “The last week, like many before it, has been replete with unfortunate developments that have trivialised the sanctity of human lives, exposed the weakness in our security architecture, tested our collective resolve as a people, and significantly threatened the unity of Nigeria as a nation.
“In the South-East, there were reports of the gruesome killing of security personnel by the now notorious “unknown gunmen” and other non-State actors; in Lagos, a young man (simply identified as David) was reportedly lynched by commercial motorcyclists around Lekki; and in Sokoto, there is the unfortunate and heart-wrenching murder of Miss Deborah Yakubu, a 200-level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto by some of her school mates for alleged blasphemy.
“The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is saddened by these developments and unequivocally condemns extra-judicial killings in any part of the country as reprehensible, barbaric and unacceptable. Our security agencies must do more to stem these ugly developments, and ensure that the perpetrators of these heinous acts, wherever or whoever they may be, are made to face the full wrath of the law.
“The government should immediately commence the prosecution of all suspects involved in these brutal and arbitrary killings in order to send a strong signal that such acts will no longer be tolerated in Nigeria. The NBA also believes that the prompt and effective prosecution of the alleged killers will instil confidence in the citizens, promote accountability, and signpost the government’s commitment to the rule of law.”
Mr Akpata equally disclosed that the union has postponed its Annual SPIDEL conference scheduled to hold in Sokoto as a sign of respect to the deceased.
“The NBA is deeply worried not just by the chilling news of the murder of Miss Deborah Yakubu, but also by the sudden and sad turn of events and the deteriorating security situation in Sokoto State.
“As such, having critically reviewed the current security condition in Sokoto, it has become apparent that we cannot guarantee the safety of our guest speakers, delegates and other stakeholders that have committed to attend the NBA-SPIDEL’s conference which was designed to put the State in the global spotlight for the duration of the conference and beyond.
“Accordingly, the Executive Committee of NBA-SPIDEL came to the painful decision to request, and I have approved, that the 2022 NBA-SPIDEL Annual Conference be postponed not only for the safety of our conferees and guests, but as a mark of respect for the memory of the slain Miss Deborah Yakubu,” the statement added.