Chris Steven, Abuja
The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has condemned the release without trial of the five suspects accused of killing a 74 year old Christian woman in Kano, Mrs Bridget Agbahime who was murdered on June 2, 2016.
The Christian body in a statement issued in Abuja by its Director Legal and Public Affairs,Barrister Kwamkur Samuel said the release of the five suspects was an highly provocative and insultive act on the collective sensitivities as a democratic nation if the newspapers reports were correct.
It called on the Kano State Government and the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Video to execute justice on behalf of the blood which it noted was calling out for it.
CAN lamented that the act of condoning crass criminality in the name of blasphemy deserves greater attention and broader treatment in this era of transforming the mindset of the citizens to work toward progressive change.
While condemning the continuous act of killing of innocent Nigerians under the pretence of blasphemy, the Christian umbrella body said it considered the willful absence of justice for victims of these mindless killings in Nigeria by the relevant authorities as a very serious constitutional breach and security threat to our unity and collective survival as a nation.
“The now-familiar tradition of avoidance to arrest or properly investigate and prosecute cases involving the deliberate killing of innocent Nigerians is evidence of a scripted plan to operate another nation within the Nigerian state and to deny justice to those who truly deserve justice.
The cardinal responsibility of Government to protect the lives and property of the citizens is sacrosanct and must not be sacrificed on the altar of religious convenience. As it stands today, there is no single prosecution record of any criminal who killed under the pretence of blasphemy in Nigeria despite the number of victims and incontrovertible facts showing that those killings were done in daylight and mostly by persons who live within the communities where these heinous crimes were committed”
It however sent its sympathy to the family of the Kano victim over the rather very sad outcome of the case and assured that the pursuit of justice is a noble task of all well-meaning citizens working together toward a more decent and better society.
“As the umbrella body of Christians in Nigeria, we will not relent in our effort to ensure that justice is served on the religiously intolerant and to ensure that all Nigerians are treated equally irrespective of their faith, social status and where they come from.” It said
The late Mrs. Agbahime was killed in June at Kofar Wambai Market by a mob after she was accused of blasphemy.
The five suspects who were charged with the murder of the trader were dramatically discharged on the directives of the state government.
A Magistrates’ Court in Kano on November 3 discharged all the five suspects.
Dauda Ahmed, Zubairu Abubakar, Abdulmumeen Mustafa, Abdullahi Abubakar and Musa Abdullahi were slammed with a four-count charge of allegedly inciting disturbance, culpable homicide, joint act and mischief.
The Chief Magistrate, Muhammad Jibril, discharged the five suspects and terminated the case as advised by the Attorney-General of Kano State.
The Principal State Counsel, Rabiu Yusuf, representing the Attorney-General of Kano State, told the court that they received the case diary from the Police June 8, 2016.
Rabiu said.“Having gone through the case diary, the attorney- general of Kano State evaluated the facts in accordance with Sections 130 and150 of the Criminal Procedure Code, presented the legal advice,”
“The legal advice presented to the court, dated June 24, states that there is no case to answer as the suspects are all innocent and orders the court to discharge all the suspects.”