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Nobody who killed under pretence of blasphemy has been brought to justice in Nigeria, CAN laments

*condemns release of suspected killers of Bridget Agbahime without trial in Kano

*demands justice

BY CALEB AYANSINA

ABUJA – The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Monday, condemned the release of five suspects accused of killing a 74 year old Christian woman, Mrs. Bridget Agbahime, in Kano, without trial.

Last week, the suspects were discharged and the case terminated by the Kano Magistrate Court, presided over by the Chief Magistrate, Mr. Jibrin Muhammad in line with the directive of the attorney-general of Kano state.

File: Suspects arraigned at Kano Chief Magistrate Court 20 on Friday, 10 June, over their involvement in the gruesome murder of Mrs. Bridget Agbahime at Kofar Wambai market, Thursday, June 2, 2016
File: Suspects arraigned at Kano Chief Magistrate Court 20 on Friday, 10 June, over their involvement in the gruesome murder of Mrs. Bridget Agbahime at Kofar Wambai market, Thursday, June 2, 2016

Bridget was murdered sometime in June, 2016 by mob at Kofar Wambai market over alleged blasphemy.

Reacting to this, the Christian community described the suspects’ release as “highly provocative and insultive act on our collective sensitivities as a democratic nation.”

CAN in a statement issued by its Director, Legal and Public Affairs, Barr. Kwamkur Samuel said it was so unfortunate that nobody killed under the pretence of blasphemy in Nigeria had been brought to justice, despite glaring evidences.

He said; “The Association condemns the continuous act of killing of innocent Nigerians under the pretence of blasphemy and considers the willful absence of justice for victims of these mindless killings in Nigeria by the relevant authorities as a very serious constitutional breach and security threat to our unity and collective survival as a nation.

“The now-familiar tradition of avoidance to arrest or properly investigate and prosecute cases involving the deliberate killing of innocent Nigerians is evidence of a scripted plan to operate another nation within the Nigerian state and to deny justice to those who truly deserve justice.

“The cardinal responsibility of Government to protect the lives and property of the citizens is sacrosanct and must not be sacrificed on the altar of religious convenience.

“As it stands today, there is no single prosecution record of any criminal who killed under the pretence of blasphemy in Nigeria despite the number of victims and incontrovertible facts showing that those killings were done in daylight and mostly by persons who live within the communities where these heinous crimes were committed.”

Consequently, CAN called on “the Kano State Government and the Inspector General of Police to execute justice on behalf of the blood calling out for it.

“The act of condoning crass criminality in the name of blasphemy deserves greater attention and broader treatment in this era of transforming the mindset of the citizens to work toward progressive change.

“CAN deeply sympathizes with the family of the Kano victim over the rather very sad outcome of the case and assures that the pursuit of justice is a noble task of all well-meaning citizens working together toward a more decent and better society.

“As the umbrella body of Christians in Nigeria, we will not relent in our effort to ensure that justice is served on the religiously intolerant and to ensure that all Nigerians are treated equally irrespective of their faith, social status and where they come from.”

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