The Nigeria Police, Sokoto State Command has said that its men and officers are still looking for the suspected killers of the female Christian student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, Deborah Samuel, who was brutally murdered by Muslim extremists.
Deborah was stoned to death and her body was burnt in May this year by her Muslim colleagues in the school after she was accused of blasphemy.
Even though the killers made videos showing the faces of some of them as they killed the Christian student, the police have yet to arrest anyone of them.
The Sokoto State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Sanusi Abubakar, told Sunday Punch that those arrested by the police were not the prime suspects, adding that they were only among those who organised the chaos which led to Deborah’s killing.
Abubakar also said that those arrested were still in custody, according to the order by the court.
He said the prime suspects were still at large but that efforts were ongoing to arrest them.
“Those ones we arrested then, though not the suspected killers, contributed to the violent riot and were arraigned in court where the judge ordered that they should be remanded. Concerning those suspected killers, we have circulated their pictures to media houses and sent our intelligence to every part of the state.
“We are still on the lookout for them and we are confident of arresting them wherever they may be hiding. We will flush them out and arraign them before a competent court of law,’’ the spokesperson was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, in a circular released by the school management on Thursday, August 4, 2022, the students and staff were directed to resume on Monday, August 8, 2022.
The circular read: “This is to inform all Students of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto that the College Governing Council has approved the Reopening of the College on Monday 8 August 2022.
“Students are requested to report to the College to sign an Undertaking at their various Schools after the payment of One Thousand Naira (N1000.00) only,” the statement added.
Recent reports on the murder and expected legal prosecution claim the state government has not brought the killers to justice and was trying to bury the matter. Three months after the incident, no criminal charge has been initiated against the culprits.
The newspaper had reported that the suspects paraded in court were those accused of causing unrest regarding the protest that happened within the metropolis after the killing in the school. They were not charged before the court for Deborah’s murder.
“Those remanded in prison were arrested during the protest and we have declared the real perpetrators wanted and we have not been able to arrest them since then,” the spokesperson for the state police command, Sanusi Abubakar had confirmed that nobody was arrested for the killing since Deborah’s tragic death.
Sources also said some of the killers left Sokoto for Niger Republic after the incident, with the help of some people in government.
“Some of Deborah’s killers have fled to Niger Republic; some of them were not students. The truth is that the state government is not ready to do anything about Deborah’s death. The people who killed her were fighting for them (fanatics in government and political class).
“That was why there was never any mention of her killers. Right from time, the people security agencies went after were the people who rioted, which is why the charges are about causing public unrest. As far as Sokoto government is concerned, Deborah’s killing is dead and buried, the chapter has been closed,” a source close to the state government had told SaharaReporters.
Another source had said, “What we heard is that some of them are in Niger Republic. Despite that, the killing was recorded on video and there were so many people involved, the government and security agencies are not interested in prosecuting any of them. That is how it is; was she the first person to be killed for alleged blasphemy in the North? What has happened to any of the killers?
“Those arrested had nothing to do with what happened in the school, it was only about what happened outside. All of that was intentionally done to cover up for the killers. The rioters will receive a slap on the wrist and be released. After all the offence is not grave.”