Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA) on Monday, asked 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 Yakubu, a Christian student, who was killed by a mob for alleged blasphemy in Sokoto State.
Deborah, a 200-level Home Economics student of Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, North-West Nigeria, was murdered in May this year by some religious fundamentalists for alleged blasphemy.
HURIWA, in a statement 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 that would bring the alleged masterminds as well as perpetrators of the heinous crime to book.
HURIWA also faulted perpetual defence of presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, over his initial tweet on the murder on the grounds that he did not approve the tweet before it was released.
HURIWA’s Onwubiko detailed the criminal failure of the governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal to arrest, prosecute and punish the perpetrators of the public stoning of the 22-year-old Christian school girl Deborah Samuel for about nine months now.
He said, “We call for Visa Ban and call 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 Samuel captured in videos that trended everywhere.
“Also, the Director of the Department of State Services in Sokoto and the Police Commissioner in the state as at the time of the stoning should be arrested by Interpol to be handed over to the International criminal Court 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 Samuel escape the long hand of the law.
HURIWA alerts the public that it will petitioned embassies like UK, GERMANY, USA, HOLLAND, FRANCE and CANADA in this regard and asked the United States 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 Governor Tambuwal has denied the assassinated Miss Deborah Samuel 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 victimized 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 Samuel 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. The “Right to Notice” is another right, which requires that criminal justice officials advise victims of their rights as crime victims and provide them access to events pertinent to their cases. A third right is the “right to be present” at the criminal trial and other criminal justice proceedings related to the investigation, prosecution, and incarceration of the offender. A fourth right is the “right to be heard” through oral and/or written statements to the court at a criminal proceeding. A fifth right, the “right to reasonable protection,” pertains to victims’ right to protection by the criminal justice system from the accused person. The sixth right, the “right to restitution,” pertains to access to money paid by a convicted offender to victims for losses suffered from the crime. Other rights ensure that victims receive information and resources that assist in addressing their needs related to the crime; are facilitated in applying for victim financial compensation from the jurisdiction; are not subjected to unreasonable delay in processing their case; can collect and provide information about the crime and case processing to criminal justice officials; can obtain a copy of the presentence report and transcripts; and can exercise pertinent rights at both the trial and appellate courts.”
HURIWA said it is determined to ensure that the Governor of Sokoto State is compelled by the international community to give adequate accounts of why his administration decided to collude with the killers of Deborah Samuel by the State Government’s conspiratorial silence to that daylight denial of the most fundamental right to Life of the 22 year old female student whose only offence is because she was a Christian by her belief system.