There is some tension in Kano state Nigeria following the ruling of the Magistrate Court which ordered the release of five people arrested in June over allegation of killing a Kano-based Igbo business woman identified as Bridget Agbahime.
Late Mrs Agbahime was said to have been killed by a mob after an alleged blasphemy on the prophet of Islam.
Five suspects, Dauda Ahmed, Abdulmumeen Mustafa, Zubairu Abubakar, Abdullahi Abubakar and Musa Abdullahi were slammed with a four-count charge of allegedly inciting disturbance, culpable homicide, joint act and mischief.
Justice Muhammad Jibrin discharged the case and directed the release of the suspects on ground that “Police investigation regarding the murder has not in any way implicated the accused and that prosecutors have failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused have indeed carried out the crime of killing Bridget”.
Channels TV Kano correspondent, Idris Jibrin reports that the November 4 ruling has been deemed unacceptable by most Igbos in Kano who believe that Police investigation into the matter was inconclusive or the judge might have been compromised.
The president of the Igbo community association in Kano, Chief Okey Iweoha, however, said that the executive of the union had not received any official notification regarding the discharge of the case.
The President of Imo State Indigenes in Kano, Emeka Nnaji, also said: “I was inside the Magistrate Court 20 when the suspects were released but then this should not be the reason for us to disrupt the relative peace in our host state of Kano.”
Meanwhile, the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 1, AIG Adamu Ibrahim, shortly after a closed-door meeting with Igbo leaders said that there is no cause for alarm,
“Institutions are established to address grievances, therefore I am urging you to not take law into your own hands. As security agents we will do our best to ensure that justice is done to all parties regardless of connection or status of the accused,” he promised.
The deceased, Bridget Agbahime had lived in Kano for over 30 years before she was killed.
In a statement signed by its Director of Legal and Public Affairs, Kwamkur Samuel, CAN described the purported handling of the June killing as highly provocative and insulting.