SOKOTO- A professor of law led 33 other lawyers to defend the alleged murderers of Deborah Samuel Yakubu at a Sokoto Chief Magistrates’ Court on Monday.
The lead counsel, Mansur Ibrahim is a professor of law at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
Such a strong legal representation has been interpreted as a show of force by the Muslim community intent at pushing through Sharia law.
The two suspects, Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci, were, however, remanded in prison custody after Prof. Ibrahim applied for their bail on liberal terms, citing constitutional provisions and sections of the Administration of Criminal Justice Law.
The trial judge (name withheld for security reasons) reserved the ruling on the bail application and ordered the accused to be remanded at a correctional centre.
Bilyaminu Aliyu and Aminu Hukunci were arraigned by the police over the lynching of Deborah, who was a student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto State, on Thursday.
The suspects, who were Deborah’s schoolmates pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The young woman was lynched on Thursday May 12 and her body set ablaze by fellow students who accused her of blasphemy.
Police prosecutor Khalil Musa told the court that an investigation was in progress. He added that Deborah’s corpse was still in a morgue at the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto.
However, the victim was buried in her hometown in Niger State on Saturday.
Her father said he paid N120,000 to transport her corpse to Niger as drivers were reluctant to carry her body.
A violent street protest on Saturday followed the arrest of the suspects linked to the lynching of Deborah as the protesters demanded their immediate release by security operatives.
Governor Aminu Tambuwal consequently imposed a 24-hour curfew on Sokoto metropolis on Saturday. He relaxed the curfew on Monday to be observed from dusk to dawn.
Meanwhile, the General overseer of Omega Power Ministry (OPM), Apostle Chibuzor Chinyere, has offered to relocate the family of the late Deborah Samuel to Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.
Following Deborah’s murder, her mother, Alheri Emmanuel, told newsmen that she will not send any of her remaining six children to school to avoid a repeat of the fate of her second child.
Deborah’s father, Emmanuel Garba, also said his family had accepted the incident as God’s will and will not be seeking redress.
Reacting to the development, the OPM leader on Monday via Instagram promised to help the family start life again in Port Harcourt.
He wrote “I just watched a video clip where the parents of Deborah Samuel said they will not be sending their children to school again. GOD FORBID.
“Anyone with their contacts should inform them immediately that I Apostle Chibuzor Chinyere the general overseer of OPM Church is relocating them to Port Harcourt.
“They would be staying in one of the OPM free estates where they will never pay rent forever. All their children are given automatic scholarship in OPM free schools. I will get the father a job and also open a shop for the mother.
“Please get in touch with them immediately. God bless you pls continue to share until it gets to them,” he pleaded. (TheNiche)