Justice must be served in Deborah’s murder

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Taking impunity to the highest level, some students at the Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto state recently lynched one of their colleagues, Deborah Samuel, and burned her remains in broad daylight. They didn’t stop at that; They made a video of this most inhuman and horrific act of savagery, dancing and rejoicing in a dramatic show of self-flattering. The act was heartbreaking, barbaric, reprehensible and an assault on our humanity. Justice must be served in this case while the world is watching.

Bestialities like this without consequences explain why Nigeria is considered by the rest of the world as part of the countries that are still in the backwaters of civilization. But it shouldn’t be like that! The late Deborah, a 22-year-old woman from Niger state, has since been buried by her traumatized parents, who traveled at her expense to Sokoto to collect the charred remains of her daughter.

School authorities are supposed to be loco parentis with the students in their care, but those at said school failed miserably in fulfilling this responsibility. Clearly, they are not worthy of the positions they hold. The young woman, seeing her death as a fait accompli, painfully intoned, “What do you hope to accomplish with this?” The school and the students involved in the vile act owe the Nigerians more explanations as to why Deborah lost her life in such a way. she did, despite the nebulous accusation of blasphemy directed against her.

Likewise, explanations are required from the authorities on how unarmed students repressed operatives of the State Security Service (SSS) at the school, who are allegedly armed but were unable to fire a single shot into the air to disperse the crowd and get Deborah to safety.

What turned out to be a tragedy reportedly had its roots in a group on an innocuous social media platform, WhatsApp, that Deborah’s classmate, known as Rakia, had created to facilitate communication on class assignments, lectures and exams. A post had asked her how she passed her exams the previous semester, to which she replied, “It’s Jesus or!” At the time, they pressured her to retract the post, but she objected. As the pressure mounted, she exclaimed, “Holy Spirit Fire.” She wondered how a social media platform created for a communal academic purpose had been hijacked for a religious purpose. She never mentioned any religion or religious figure in her own posts.

As is often the case in such macabre circumstances, petulant condemnations have been torrential, coming from President Muhammadu Buhari, northern governors, the Nigerian Bar Association, civil society groups, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar, clerics of all religious beliefs. and shapers of public opinion.

Governor Tambuwal of Sokoto state responded quickly by imposing a 24-hour curfew in the state, following violent protests that led to burning and looting of shops, as well as attacks on churches, following the arrest and arraignment of two suspects. in the murder case. He also ordered school authorities and security agencies to investigate the matter and find out all the suspects involved.

However, what seems unbelievable is the charge of mere “incitement to disturb public order” leveled against the two suspects who have been arrested so far. It is strange, biased and unacceptable. Such a response tends to evoke in some circles the feeling of an official go-ahead for a serious crime or, at best, a ploy to let suspects go free. Criticizing the action, a senior Nigerian advocate, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, said it was “an insult to the sensibilities of Nigerians and to the God who created Deborah.” This is the truth!

It’s disgusting that more than a week after Deborah was horribly murdered, the two insane guys who appeared on video confessing to their part in the murder have not been arrested. When murders like this take place in any country where law and order mean anything, within an hour, the crime scene is put under total lockdown in a search for the suspect(s), who are brought to trial immediately upon arrest. . . It happened in the recent Buffalo mass shooting in New York, USA. These two suspects who remain at large in the Deborah Samuel self-immolation in Sokoto must be arrested without further delay and forced to face the full weight of the law. Debora’s innocent blood cries out for justice and must be appeased. This is the least the authorities are expected to do, not just condemn the act and move on.

Life is sacrosanct as expressly established in article 33 of the 1999 Constitution (reformed), where it is proclaimed that: “Everyone has the right to life and no one can be intentionally deprived of life.” It must be emphasized that it is not only the savages who lynched Débora who are being judged, but even more so the government, because many times it is deficient, capricious and elusive in asserting the supremacy of our Constitution, which has sworn to elevate, support, sustain .

In more ways than one, the lack of criminal repression and the tendency to pay lip service to the secularism of the Nigerian state, also guaranteed by the constitution, are at the heart of groups or individuals who see themselves as above the law. , and as such, he can easily take the lives of his fellow citizens without remorse.

In Nigeria, murder is a capital offense against the state. Therefore, the Sokoto state government and the federal government must take decisive action to enforce the law, and must be seen to have done so, in the interest of justice.

In addition, Deborah’s family needs psychosocial support from all sides to deal with what happened to her. The Niger State and Sokoto State governments should extend this much-needed support at this difficult time for the family.

SEE: Governor Yahaya Bello’s roadmap to Hope 2023

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