Bayelsa Times

 Lawyers describe killing of student over alleged blasphemy as barbaric


Two Lagos-based lawyers , Messrs Kolawole Ajayi and Ayo Ojo, on Friday condemned the gruesome killing of Miss Deborah Yakubu  over alleged blasphemy, describing it as barbaric.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that  Deborah, a 200 -evel Home Economics student of  the Shehu Shahari College of Education, Sokoto State, was on Thursday murdered by her schoolmates over alleged blasphemy.

Samuel was accused of making a social media post that blasphemed  Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

The culprits, after beating and stoning her to death, set her body ablaze.

The lawyers, who spoke with NAN in separate interviews, described the act as barbaric and sought justice for the family of the deceased.

A human rights lawyer, Mr Kolawole Ajayi, described the gruesome murder of Deborah by the students as cruel, inhuman, and heinous.

“It is very sad that we are witnessing extrajudicial execution in a higher institution where people are supposed to be civilised and learned,” he said.

Ajayi said that the right to life is guaranteed by Section 33 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

“No one should be deprived of his or her life, except as prescribed by law, and in line with judicial and due process.

“It is not acceptable to take the life of another, if anyone commits blasphemy or any other crimes, the person should be handed over to  the appropriate authorities for punishment,” he added.

He called on the relevant authorities to investigate and bring all those involved in the killing to book.

“The perpetrators should not go unpunished; they must be exposed, and be punished as that will serve as a deterrent to those who may want to engage in a similar act in the future.

“If justice has been served before on the perpetrators of extra-judicial killing, it would not have gotten to this stage,” he said.

Also, Mr Ayo Ojo said that the ugly incident was an extra-judicial killing, adding that no law authorised anybody to kill anyone.

“The act was an extrajudicial killing, and such killing should not be taken with kid gloves or condoned in this present world.

“Human life is sacred; nobody has the right to take the law into their own hands.

“It is annoying and disgusting to watch the video of the students, who set the victim ablaze jubilating and celebrating.

“It is sad and worrisome that students are found engaging in such an illegitimate act,” he said.

Ojo urged the government of Sokoto State to ensure that the perpetrators were punished, and Deborah and her family get justice.

“The government and security agencies should fish out those who committed this barbaric act and prosecute them diligently,” he said.

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