Team of 34 Lawyers Defend Suspected Killers of Deborah as Police Arraign Suspects

Alt: = "Deborah Samuel, and one of her killers"

The Nigeria Police on Monday arraigned two suspects, identified as Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci, over the  gruesome murder of Deborah Samuel on May 12, with a team of 34 lawyers standing for their defence.

A mob of Muslim extremists comprising fellow students of the deceased, lynched and set ablaze Ms Samuel  within the premises of Shehu Hsagari College of Education, Sokoto over alleged blasphemy, sparking nationwide outrage by Nigerians.

The suspects were docked at a Sokoto Chief Magistrate’s Court for their alleged investment in the crime. Both of them  pleaded not guilty to the crime.

Prosecutor, Khalil Musa, told the court that investigation was still ongoing as Ms Samuel’s corpse was still in a morgue at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto.

Mansur Ibrahim, leader of the defence counsel asked the court to grand the suspects bail on liberal terms citing constitutional provisions and sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law.

The trial judge (name not mentioned for security reasons) reserved ruling on the bail application and ordered the accused to be kept in custody at a correctional centre.

Before she was lynched, Ms Samuel, a 200-Level Home Economics student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, was accused of denigrating Islam on a school WhatsApp chat platform set up by her coursemates.

A violent street protest by Islamic extremists erupted in Sokoto following the arrest of suspects linked to the lynching of Ms Samuel, with  protesters demanding for the  release of the suspects arrested by security operatives.

Consequently, the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal imposed a 24-hour curfew on the state capital on Saturday, and  on Monday announced relaxation of the curfew to be observed from dusk to dawn.

NAN

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