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PARIS, NOVEMBER 13, 2016: (DGW) AS  Nigerians have continued to criticise the killing of Mrs Bridget Agbahime in Kano and the subsequent release of the suspected killers, THE NATION newspapers owned by the National Leader of Nigeria's governing party, the All Progressives Congress has also severely criticized the Kano State Ministry of Justice in its EDITORIAL for ordering the release of the suspected killers.
The nationwide newspapers questioned the rationale behind the release of the suspects in its EDITORIAL headlined ''INTRIGUING INNOCENCE'' published on November 11, 2016,  when their innocence have not been duly established by the court in which they were standing trial.
THE NATION newspapers further queried  in its EDITORIAL, ''Now that the five suspects charged to court have been discharged based on the said legal advice, those suspects said to be at large may also have no case to answer. So the question is: Who will answer for the barbaric murder of Citizen Agbahime? Without question, there was a killing, and there must have been killers.
Below is the full piece published by the nationwide newspapers in its EDITORIAL: 
 ''It is curious that the Kano State Ministry of Justice ordered the release of five murder suspects standing trial for allegedly killing 74-year-old Mrs. Bridget Agbahime, a Christian of Igbo origin, in a Kano market in June after accusing her of blasphemy. The alleged killers, Dauda Ahmed, Abdulmumeen Mustafa, Zubairu Abubakar, Abdullahi Abubakar and Musa Abdullahi, had been arraigned before a chief magistrate’s court on a four-count charge.
The trial took a strange turn and was terminated following the advice of the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Kano State Ministry of Justice. The state prosecution counsel, Rabiu Yusuf, who informed the court that the state was withdrawing the matter, was quoted as saying:  ”We received the case diary from the police on June 8, and having gone through it, the attorney- general of Kano State evaluated the facts in accordance with sections 130 and 150 of the criminal procedure code. The legal advice presented to the court, dated June 24, states that there is no case to answer, as the suspects are all innocent and orders the court to discharge all the accused persons.”

It is intriguing that the accused were declared innocent by the DPP’s office when the trial was supposed to establish their innocence or guilt. It is unclear how the claimed innocence of the accused was established by the DPP’s office outside their trial.
The background to this alarming development is noteworthy for the accusatory details. A report said: “The prosecution told the court that, the first accused person, Dauda Ahmed, had a brawl with the deceased, adding that Dauda seized the late woman and rained slaps on her before proceeding to shout Allahu Akbar, with which he allegedly recruited the other offenders. The charge sheet further alleged that the shout by the first accused attracted a huge crowd, who after learning that late Bridget had blasphemed the prophet, went ahead to strike the accused woman with clubs and various types of dangerous weapons, which it claimed led to her death. The charge sheet also noted that one Salawihu, Ibrahim, Dini, Isiaku, Mallam Sani, Sufiyanu, Yunusa and Mallam Umar, all at large, were part of the mob that carried out the dastardly act.”
Now that the five suspects charged to court have been discharged based on the said legal advice, those suspects said to be at large may also have no case to answer. So the question is: Who will answer for the barbaric murder of Citizen Agbahime? Without question, there was a killing, and there must have been killers.
Surely, it cannot be enough to simply declare the accused guiltless without further action towards unravelling the identities of those who killed the woman. This is why it is unsurprising that the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) is demanding justice in this matter. Indeed, all persons of conscience should demand that the murderers in this case be apprehended and prosecuted.
A statement by CAN’s Director, Legal and Public Affairs, Kwamkur Samuel, described the development as “a highly provocative and insulting act.”  It added: “The association condemns the continuous act of killing of innocent Nigerians under the pretext of blasphemy.” More disturbing is the association’s observation: “As it stands today, there is no single prosecution record of any criminal who killed under the pretext 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.” A recent case in point is the murder of a Christian female preacher in Abuja who was allegedly killed by Muslims intolerant of her evangelism.


The failure of law enforcement regarding these instances of murderous criminality amounts to licensing impunity; and it could trigger an undesirable backlash from those who have lost faith in the capacity of the state to ensure justice. This is why correct action is urgently needed.''

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