The Nigerian police in Kano has arraigned five suspected killers of 74-year-old trader, Bridget Agbahime, who was lynched to death on the accusation of blasphemy at Kofar Wambai market.
They were arraigned before a Kano Magistrate Court, on a four counts of inciting public disturbance, joint act, mischief and culpable homicide, contrary to sections, 114,80,327 and 221 of the penal code law.
The five accused pleaded not guilty, while seven others accused of the same offence are at large and are being hunted for by the police.
The First Information Report, FIR, stated that on June 2, the accused persons at Kofar Wambai market alleged that the deceased had blasphemed against Prophet Mohammed and jointly went ahead to murder her.
Those arraigned are Dauda Ahmed, Abdulmumuni Mustapha, Zubairu Abubakar, Abdullahi Abubakar and Musa Abullahi.
The prosecution, led by Usman A. Jubrin, informed the court that the accused persons jointly incited public disturbance, engaged in mischief and were responsible for the death of Mrs. Bridget Agbahime.
The prosecution told the court that, the first accused person,” Dauda Ahmed had a brawl with the deceased. Dauda seized the late woman, rained slaps on her before he proceeded to shout Allahu Akbar meaning (Allah is Great) with which he recruited the other offenders,” the court heard.
The charge sheet further alleged that, the shout by the first accused, attracted a huge crowd, to which he disclosed that Bridget had blasphemed against the prophet.
FIR stated, the crowd went ahead to strike the accused woman with various types of dangerous weapons, culminating in her suffering from grievous hurt, leading to her death and subsequently destroying the husband”s car worth N1.4m.
The charge sheet noted that, one Salawihu, Ibrahim, Dini,Isiaku, Mallam Sani, Sufiyanu, Yunusa and Mallam Umar were part of the mob that carried out the dastardly act, but are at large.
The five alleged killers of Mrs Agbahime arraigned before the court, denied the allegations slammed against them, stating that all that was contained in the FIR, was not true.
The prosecution informed the court that the case diary had been forwarded to the Director, Public Prosecution for legal advice, while police investigation into the matter continues.
Nazifi Yusuf Goron Dutse, counsel to the accused persons, did not object to the application by the prosecution for the matter to be adjourned.
The court presided over by Chief Magistrate, Mohammed Jubrin, ordered that the accused persons be remanded in prison custody and the case adjourned to June 28th.
Speaking to journalists after the court session, the Public Relations Officer of Kano state Police Command, DSP Magaji Musa Majia said those who were arraigned in the Court were the first batch of the suspects who killed Mrs. Bridget Agbahime at Kofar Wambai market on June 2, adding that, “we are doubling all our efforts to get the remaining suspects arrested.”
“We promise Nigerians that we will get them arrested even before 28 of June. As law abiding citizens, we urge every Nigerian to remain calm,” he added.