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Deborah: NBA postpones Sokoto conference as UN Dep. Sec. Gen, IPAC demand justice

By Yetunde Ayobami Ojo, Ngozi Egenuka, Waliat Musa (Lagos), Sodiq Omolaoye, Ernest Nzor and Ameh Ochojila (Abuja)
18 May 2022   |   4:07 am
Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL) has postponed its conference billed for May 22 to 26, 2022, in Sokoto State.

Deborah Samuel, a 200 Level student of Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto

Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL) has postponed its conference billed for May 22 to 26, 2022, in Sokoto State.

The decision followed the recent gruesome killing of a Christian student, Deborah Yakubu, over alleged blasphemy and the volatile security situation in the state.

A statement by NBA President, Olumide Akpata, reads: “The NBA is deeply worried, not just by the chilling news of the murder of Miss Yakubu, but also by the sudden and sad turn of events and the deteriorating security situation in Sokoto State.

“As such, having critically reviewed the current security condition in Sokoto, it has become apparent that we cannot guarantee the safety of our guest speakers, delegates and other stakeholders that have committed to attend the NBA-SPIDEL’s conference, which was designed to put the state in the global spotlight for the duration of the conference and beyond.

“Accordingly, the Executive Committee of NBA-SPIDEL came to the painful decision to request, and I have approved, that the 2022 NBA-SPIDEL Annual Conference be postponed, not only for the safety of our conferees and guests, but as a mark of respect for the memory of the slain Miss Yakubu.”

NBA also called on the state government to demonstrate seriousness in prosecution of the alleged killers.

It said: “The government should immediately commence the prosecution of all suspects involved in these brutal and arbitrary killings, to send a strong signal that such acts will no longer be tolerated in Nigeria.”

It added: “The NBA also believes that the prompt and effective prosecution of the alleged killers will instil confidence in the citizens, promote accountability, and signpost the government’s commitment to the rule of law.”

ALSO, United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Muhammed, called for justice.

Muhammed reacted via her official Twitter page, yesterday, saying: “Justice must be done for the senseless, brutal killing of the young Deborah Yakubu in Nigeria. Religions should not be misinterpreted to preach violence when they promote peace. My prayers are with the family and for the repose of her soul.”

INTER-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) also urged political, religious and traditional leaders to avoid making inflammatory statements over the killing.

National Chairman, Yabagi Sani, in a statement, yesterday, said Nigerians must avoid stoking the embers of anarchy. He also said the authorities must ensure all persons culpable are brought to book to serve as deterrent.

He said: “We are as well urging society’s opinion moulders not to resort to actions overtly or covertly or refuse to take action, that is, eerie silence that connotes a tacit support for violence.

“We are urging our youth, as leaders of tomorrow, to seriously desist from actions that are detrimental to the peace and tranquility of the country which puts in great peril the nation’s unity and progress.”