The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olumide Akpata, has stated that the association may intervene in the prosecution of the two suspects arrested in connection with the lynching of Deborah Yakubu.
Blasphemy: NBA may intervene in Deborah's murder prosecution - President
The NBA said it's watching the development with a keen interest and may be forced to take over the prosecution of the suspects if the right thing was not done.
The victim, a 200-level Home Economics student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto State, was gruesomely killed by a mob following accusation of blaspheming Prophet Muhammad.
The mob hurled stones at Deborah till she died and subsequently set fire to her corpse while a video recording the act was made and circulated online.
The incident resulted in nationwide indignation as concerned Nigerians demand for justice.
Recall that the police had on Monday, May 16, 2022, arraigned two arrested suspects, Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci, before a Sokoto State Magistrates' Court over charges allegedly bordering on ‘public disturbance.’
Meanwhile, the NBA via a statement by Akpata had expressed worry over “yet-to-be confirmed reports reaching us that the suspects have been charged with mere breach of public peace in an episode that cut short Deborah’s life in her prime.”
The NBA President said, “The NBA is strongly opposed to a banalisation of the situation, and if these reports are true, then we call on the Sokoto State Government to immediately rethink its prosecution strategy and file charges that truly reflect the gravity of the situation.”
Akpata also told Saturday Punch in a telephone interview that the association might apply for an order to take over prosecution if the right thing was not done.
He maintained that the initial statement issued by the NBA was to remind the police that the body was keeping tabs and expecting nothing short of a diligent work from the police.
“We know that in a mob action like this, investigation may take time, but our statement was to let the police know that we are watching.
“We will let our colleagues in the Sokoto State Ministry of Justice do their work. We may apply for fiat to take over the case,” Akpata said.
Pulse also reported that the NBA President slammed Rivers state Governor, Nyesom Wike, over his disparaging comments about the association.
This comes after Wike claimed that the NBA had become a paper tiger and failed in its responsibility to protect the Nigerian judiciary and shield it against political intimidation.
The Governor made the assertion at a book launch recently held in honour of retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Mary Peter-Odili.
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: