Lawyers are expressing various views about calling off the forthcoming Annual Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law( SPIDEL) in Sokoto due to the gruesome murder of Ms. Deborah Yakubu by some persons at the Shehu Shagari College of Education Sokoto.
Murder of Deborah: NBA-SPIDEL boss, Dr. Ubani disagrees Over Calls to Boycott scheduled Sokoto Annual Conference
Reacting to the calls, Chairman of NBA SPIDEL, Dr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani, in a statement on Friday said that lawyers who want the event called off should first “be circumspect over the sad Sokoto incident”.
The conference is scheduled to hold from May 22 to May 26, 2022.
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The Sokoto State commissioner of police, Kamaldeen Okunlola, had confirmed the incident on Thursday, adding that the girl in question was killed for alleged blasphemy and two suspects have been arrested.
According to Ubani, “Gentlemen let us all be circumspect over the sad Sokoto incident. The barbaric Killing is condemnable as no individual has any right under our present jurisprudence to take life except in accordance with due process.
“Assuming but not conceding that the said lady has committed a written and known crime, the state alone has the requisite power to prosecute and punish the alleged crime. Extra judicial killing is not allowed by our laws.
“Having said that, it will be preposterous for someone who is a lawyer to be suggesting that we should cancel our conference that is billed to take place in Sokoto because of the acts of law breakers in the state.
“The barbaric act was not authorised or approved by the State Government to our knowledge. In fact the State Government has issued a statement condemning the act and requested that the crime perpetrators be brought to book. Arrest of two persons have been made and we await the outcome of the process.
“I have sent a text to the Governor and the AG and requesting for a statement that our safety is guaranteed. I am in touch with the President of the Bar, Mr Olumide Akpata and if there is any need to take a drastic decision about the conference in Sokoto we will ensure prompt communication to the constituency.
“It is absolutely wrong for our colleagues without locus to be calling for boycot of the conference when the state government that is hosting is not complicit in this heinous crime unless there is evidence to the contrary. It is like asking for conferences billed for Owerri to be cancelled because of the killings of two army personnel(husband and wife) by unknown gunmen or asking that we cancel conferences in Abuja because of some of the killings that have taken place there recently.
“Is there any sound logic to such rash requests? Let us be patient and await statement from the appropriate authority sirs. Please take it easy gentlemen, I plead. Love you guys.”
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