It’s A Sad Omen For Nigeria, Says Okei-Odumakin
Mixed reactions y e s t e r d a y trailed the discharge of all the five alleged killers Bridget Agbahime, a trader based in Kano by a magistrates’ court in Kano State. Most Igbo groups, such as the Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereignty State of Biafra (MASSOB), the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC) and the Igbo Youth Movement (IYM), all condemned the court’s decision to free the five alleged ‘killers’ of Agbahime.
A magistrates’ court in Kano State had on Thursday discharged all the five accused. Agbahime, 74, an Imo State indigene, was on June 2 murdered in Kofar Wambai Market in Kano over alleged blasphemy. The accused, Dauda Ahmed, Abdulmumeen Mustafa, Zubairu Abubakar, Abdullahi Abubakar and Musa Abdullahi were slammed with four counts of allegedly inciting disturbance, culpable homicide, joint act and mischief.
In his judgement on Thursday, Muhammad Jibril, Chief Magistrate, discharged the five accused and terminated the case in line with the directive of the Attorney-General of Kano State. But reacting to this, MASSOB rejected the judgment.
A statement issued by MASSOB’s leader, Uchenna Madu, claimed that the judgment was delivered by, “some satanic agents of Islamic fundamentalist in Kano.” The statement added: “The express judgment of the Muslim magistrate proves that Islamic sentiment is attached to it.
It was a calculated directive from the Kano State Government to deny Ndigbo justice. “Even though we condemn this insensitive act and judgment against an Igbo woman, MASSOB is not surprised because the religious and tribal orientation of the Hausa Fulani against Ndigbo and Christians is the manifestation of this barbaric impunity with religious shed.
“This is among uncountable religious, ethnic and political killings of our people in the northern Nigeria which has been justified or ignored by political, religious and traditional leaders from northern Nigeria. “Though it is a slap and affront to Ndigbo, we challenge the Igbo political, traditional and religious leaders mostly the IMO state government where Agbahime hails from to rise up in defence of this Igbo martyr.
MASSOB will always remember her sacrificial death.” In the same vein, IPOB equally condemned the judgment, saying it was a jungle justice judgement. IPOB spokesman, Emma Powerful, in a statement, stated: “We condemn the judgment in totality.
The magistrate and the government of state were instrumental to the killing of an innocent woman who committed no crime against Islam. “This is what IPOB preached that the Christians in Nigeria and the people of Biafra should leave the north and come back home and make their lives better and stay in a place where their lives will be protected, this concocted judgment by the killers in the northern part of Nigeria indicate that they are not wanted in the northern territories.
“We are aware that the killers of the Christians and Biafrans were infiltrated in the judiciary especially those in the northern part of Nigeria. “How can a well trained lawyer and a magistrate who attended so many seminars and courses will release murderers who snuffed live out from a fellow human being to go scot free?
“This is a dangerous signals that nobody is safe again in the country created by evil men from Britain.” Reacting on the judgment, the National President of OYC, Okechukwu Isigozoro, said the group would appeal against the ruling.
He also called on all Igbos leaving in the 19 states in the north, to rise up and defend themselves to avoid a reccurrence. He appealed to the National Judicial Council (NJC) to order a fresh trial of the five suspects, warning that failure to do so might instigate a massive protest on the streets of Kano State.
Also adding his voice, the founder of IYM, Mr. Elliot Ukoh, described the released and ruling of the five accused as a slap to Christianity and to the people of the South-East of the region. Meanwhile, a women’s rights activist and president of Women Arise for Change Initiative and the Campaign for Democracy (CD), Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, said:
“The discharge of the accused killers of Mrs. Janet by the Kano magistrate court is another sad manifestation of what our judicial system has become. “Worrisome is the role played by the prosecutors of the case which is supposed to be the State’s Ministry of Justice in letting these alleged perpetrators off the hook.
Actions like this tend to promote lawlessness within the society and have further deemed the hope of the common people in Nigeria towards access to justice. It is sad.”