Police confirm mob killing of student in Sokoto over alleged blasphemy, arrest two, as Tambuwal, Sultan demand prosecution of perpetrators


Police in Sokoto State, Thursday, confirmed the mob killing of a student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education (SSCOED), saying two suspects have been taken into custody in connection with the incident which occurred at the institution earlier in the day.

The late Miss Deborah Samuel after the mob attack, Thursday

The incident which went viral on social media, early Thursday, has also been condemned by the Sultan of Sokoto, and the state Governor Aminu Tambuwal, who have both ordered investigations into the killing, just as the government has shut down academic activities at the institution.

The late student, identified as Miss Deborah Samuel, was attacked by a mob and killed for allegedly committing blasphemy against the Islamic prophet, Mohammed.

In what way the late Deborah blasphemed against Islam was not immediately known, as she was dragged out of the school premises and beaten to death by a mob comprising the community’s residents and other students of the school.

The late Miss Deborah Samuel

Confirming the incident, the Sokoto Police Command spokesperson, Sanusi Abubakar said in a statement, Thursday evening, that the mob overpowered campus security before killing the female student.

The security outpost was also burnt in a violent outbreak that forced school authorities to shut down the campus immediately and sent students home.

“At about 0900hrs, a distress call was received from Shehu Shagari College of Education, Sokoto, stating that students were rioting over one female student named Deborah Samuel, a level two 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.

Governor Aminu Tambuwal

“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.

“The Commissioner of Police, Sokoto State Command, CP Kamaldeen Okunlola fdc, mnim, is appealing to members of the public to go about their lawful activities and should not panic as the situation is under control.

“Meanwhile, the suspects in the viral video on Twitter were spotted and will be nailed soon,” Mr Abubakar, an assistant superintendent of police, said.

Reacting, the Sokoto Sultanate Council has condemned the killing of a female student of Shehu Shagari College of Education Sokoto State, following outrage by Nigerians over the incident.

The Sultanate Council in a statement issued by its secretary, Sa’idu Mohammadu Maccido, called on security agencies to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book.

The council called on members of the public to remain calm and live peacefully with one another.

“The Sultanate Council has learnt with dismay the unfortunate happening at the Shehu Shagari College of Education, SSCOE Sokoto that led to the loss of life of a female student of the institution.

“The Sultanate Council condemns the incident in its totality and has urged the security agencies to bring the perpetrators of the unjustifiable incident to justice.

“The Sultanate Council has urged all to remain calm and ensure peaceful co-existence among all people of the state and nation.”

On his part, Governor Aminu Tambuwal has called on the people of the state to remain calm and maintain peace as the government would take appropriate actions on the findings of the investigations by the relevant authority.

Earlier Thursday, the State Commissioner for Education, Alh. Isah Bajini Galadanci, announced the immediate shutdown of the institution

“It has come to the notice of Sokoto State government, the unfortunate incident that took place at the Shehu Shagari College of Education in which a student of the college lost her life.

“The Government has ordered the immediate closure of the college.

“Already the state governor Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has directed the Ministry of Higher education and relevant security agencies in the state to commence investigations into the remote and immediate causes of the incident and report back to the government,” said the Education Commissioner.