From the archives:Deborah: HURIWA urges ICC to prosecute Tambuwal over crime against humanity

Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) has urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to prosecute Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide over the heinous murder of Miss Deborah Samuel Yakubu, a Christian student, who was killed by a mob for alleged blasphemy in Sokoto State.


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Deborah, a 200-level Home Economics student of Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, North-West Nigeria, was murdered in May, 2022 by some religious fundamentalists for alleged blasphemy.

HURIWA, in a statement yesterday by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, also asked the international community to place a visa ban on the governor over his failure to take necessary action to bring the alleged masterminds as well as perpetrators of the heinous crime to book.

HURIWA also faulted the defence put up by the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, over his initial tweet condemning the murder but later deleted on the ground that he did not approve the tweet before it was released.

The organisation detailed the criminal failure of Tambuwal to arrest, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of the lynching of the 22-year-old Christian school girl for about nine months now.

He said: “We call for Visa Ban and on Interpol in Europe to arrest, detain and prosecute the Sokoto State governor for crime against humanity for his government’s conspiratorial silence and act of sabotage of the constitution in failing to prosecute major killers of Deborah captured in videos that trended everywhere.
“Also, the Director of the Department of State Services in Sokoto and the Police Commissioner as at the time of the stoning should be arrested by Interpol to be handed over to the ICC in the Hague Netherlands for prosecution.
“This petition serves as official petition to the ICC Hague Netherlands against the governor of Sokoto state and heads of security agencies in Sokoto who conspired to let the killers of Deborah escape the long hand of the law.
“HURIWA alerts the public that it will petition embassies like Britain, Germany, America Holland, France and Canada in this regard and asked the America to re-designate Nigeria as a Country of Particular Concern (CPC) for violations of religious freedom.”

HURIWA notes that the Sokoto State government under the leadership of Tambuwal has denied the assassinated Miss Deborah all her rights as a crime victim just as a crime is defined as not only the direct victims of crime, but also family members of homicide victims, guardians of victimised minors, and other selected representatives of direct victims.

HURIWA quoting International law experts affirmed that amongst the fundamental rights to crime victims including the protected rights that the family members of Deborah are entitled to from Sokoto State government include the right to fairness, dignity, respect, and privacy in the course of victims’ involvement in criminal justice proceedings.

HURIWA said it is determined to ensure that Tambuwal is compelled by the international community to give adequate accounts of why his administration decided to collude with the killers of Deborah by its conspiratorial silence to that daylight denial of the most fundamental right to life of the 22 year old female student, whose only offence was because being a Christian by her belief system.

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