*Condemns Murder of Deborah In Totality and Reassures Lawyers Of Their Safety

The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL), Dr. Monday Ubani has condemned the gruesome murder of Deborah Yakubu, a level two student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto by her co-students over allegations of blasphemy.

In a statement sighted by TheNigeriaLawyer, Ubani emphasised that no individual has the right to take life except in accordance with due process.

According to him, “The barbaric Killing is condenmnable as no individual has any right under our present jurisprudence to take life except in accordance with due process”.

He noted further that assuming but not conceding that the said lady has committed a written and known crime, the state alone has the requisite power to prosecute and punish the alleged crime. Extra judicial killing is not allowed by our laws.

The Chair of the NBA SPIDEL which is scheduled to hold its annual summit in Sokoto State from the 22nd of this month however took a swipe at calls by some lawyers to relocate the summit to another state in protest to the murder of the student.

He described such calls as preposterous because the State Government was not complicit in the condemnable act.

He wrote, “it will be preposterous for someone who is a lawyer to be suggesting that we should cancel our conference that is billed to take place in Sokoto because of the acts of law breakers in the state.”

He continued: “The barbaric act was not authorised or approved by the State Government to our knowledge. In fact the State Government has issued a statement condemning the act and requested that the crime perpetrators be brought to book. Arrest of two persons have been made and we await the outcome of the process.”

According to him, he has established contact with the Governor and the Attorney General of Sokoto State in order to get reassurances of the security of lawyers who will be attending the conference during their stay in the state.

“I have sent a text to the Governor and the AG and requesting for a statement that our safety is guaranteed. I am in touch with the President of the Bar, Mr Olumide Akpata and if there is any need to take a drastic decision about the conference in Sokoto we will ensure prompt communication to the constituency. It is absolutely wrong for our colleagues without locus to be calling for boycott of the conference when the state government that is hosting is not complicit in this heinous crime unless there is evidence to the contrary.

It is like asking for conferences billed for Owerri to be cancelled because of the killings of two army personnel(husband and wife) by unknown gunmen or asking that we cancel conferences in Abuja because of some of the killings that have taken place there recently. Is there any sound logic to such rash requests? Let us be patient and await statement from the appropriate authority sirs. Please take it easy gentlemen, i plead. Love you guys.

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