The Death of Deborah Samuel
Garba Emmanuel, the father of late Deborah Samuel, who was gruesomely killed and burnt in Sokoto last Thursday, has narrated how his daughter was killed.
A distraught Emmanuel in an interview with elifeonline.net described his 22-year-old daughter as a humble girl who wanted a bright future, believed so much in the Lord and did not play with Church activities.
He said: “In her school, she was a member of the Christian Student Association and was well known in the Church because she didn’t miss Church activities. She was not a troublemaker.”
Garba, who witnessed the killing of his daughter, said the mob action took place despite the presence of over 100 security agents comprising Police, NSDSC and DSS operatives.
He said: ”Ok that Thursday morning around 9.00 am, she called me on her phone to say that some people wanted to kill her. I quickly left where I was and went to her school. On getting there, I saw a huge crowd of these boys and girls. The school authorities had taken her and locked her and another girl at the security gate by the school entrance.
“I then decided to report the matter to the police that there was a problem at the school. The police responded that I had no right to report what was happening in the school; the school was supposed to call them.
“I told them that I am a citizen of Nigeria and I have the right to report any wrongdoing happening anywhere if it affects me or anybody. So, they gave me two police officers in plain clothes.
“On arrival at the school, they saw that the situation was beyond what they could handle.
“They called the DPO, the Area Command, Police headquarters and the DSS office. The DSS arrived first on the scene and began shooting in the air to disperse the mob, some of whom ran away.
“They attempted to rescue her but the door of the security post was locked with a padlock and the person holding the key was not there. Later, more police officers arrived and began to shoot teargas all over the place.
“As this continued, more mobs from the adjourning communities began to arrive, all the passersby by the road because the school is on the express road, began to troop in, and the crowd was much.
“At about 11 am, more police officers, Civil Defence and DSS were around and were teargassing the whole place. Rather than break the door and rescue her, they were waiting for the person with the key. Soon, the person came and in bringing her out, the mob took hold of her.
“As they were struggling with the security men, one of the mob hit her on the head with a huge iron rod and she fell to the ground.
“That was how they began to stone her, hit her with rods and sticks and she died. She was killed in the presence of all the security agents.
“After they killed her, the mob was jubilant that they killed her. The students and people from the villages were all shouting Allah Akbar, Allahu Akbar.
“They were all happy and jubilating. Different people began to say, ‘I am the one that killed her’, ‘I am the one that killed her’.
“After some twenty to thirty minutes, a lady in hijab, one of her schoolmates, began to shout, a kone ta, a kone ta, akone ta, meaning ‘set her body ablaze, set her body ablaze.’
“After about two hours, the school authority and the police officers took her body to the mortuary.”
He added: “More than 100 policemen were there. They were more than one hundred. The DSS people there were not many. The DSS people tried to rescue her but left it to the police when they came in about five to seven vehicles, including the civil defence. But see what eventually happened.”
When asked if the police officers deliberately did what they did, he said: “Well, what can I say? If they, did it deliberately, I leave them to the hands of God because I believe that if the police and the other security agencies wanted to rescue her, immediately they shot in the air and the mob dispersed, they could have taken her into one of their many vehicles and zoomed off.
“They could have broken the padlock and repaired it later. But… they did what they did. I leave everything to God.
We condemn such act and we hope that the authorities will fish out the perpetuators and they face the law.