The Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Sokoto State Command, has confirmed that it has arrested two persons alleged to be involved in the gruesome killing of Deborah Samuel, a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto.
The police command said the arrests were made after it received a distress call in the early hours of Thursday about some students who were rioting over their female colleague.
The New Diplomat had reported that Deborah was allegedly beaten and set ablaze by her colleagues. The students, believed to be Muslim faithfuls were said to be enraged over alleged blasphemous language used by Deborah on their WhatsApp group chat.
Confirming the incident, the Sokoto State Police command, in a press statement signed by the Command Public Relations Officer, ASP Sanusi Abubakar, said the students banded together with miscreants to orchestrate the unfortunate incident.
Abubakar, in the statement, also called on the residents to remain calm, adding that the State Commissioner of Police, CP Kamaldeen Okunlola, has began measures to ensure that normalcy is restored to the area and all the perpetrators of the act are brought to book.
The statement reads, “At about 0900hrs, a distress call was received from the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, stating that students were rioting over one female student named Deborah Samuel, a NCE 2 student, who was accused of making a social media post that blasphemed the holy prophet Muhammad (SAW).
“Students forcefully removed the victim from the security room where she was hidden by the school authorities, killed her and burnt the building. The students banded together with miscreants and barricaded the Sokoto/Jega road.
“Upon receiving the information, the DC Operations led a team of policemen and all other operational commanders in the state to the school, where the road was cleared and the situation was brought under control.
“Two students were arrested in connection with the crime committed. The school has been closed down by the school authority, and policemen were deployed to give tight security coverage.”
Reacting also to the incident, the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese of the Catholic Church, Bishop Mathew Kukah, called on the government to ensure all the persons involved in the killing of Deborah are made to face the wrath of law.
Kukah in a statement issued on Thursday while condemning the act, said the incident has nothing to do with religion. He added that the matter must be treated as a criminal act.
According to him, “the only obligation that is owed her immediate family, her fellow students and the school authority is the assurance that those who are guilty of this inhuman act, no matter their motivation, are punished according to the extant laws of our land.
“This has nothing to do with religion. Christians have lived peacefully with their Muslim neighbours here in Sokoto over the years.
“This matter must be treated as a criminal act and the law must take its cause.”