The police in Kano state have pledged to fish out and arrest the killers of a woman trader who was alleged to have blasphemed the Prophet Muhammad.
A police spokesperson, Magaji Majiya, told PREMIUM TIMES on Friday that Bridget Agbahwe was killed and beheaded on Thursday by a mob after an argument with some customers in Kano’s Wambai market who accused her of blasphemy.
”At about 4: 30 pm, there was a disagreement between the murdered woman and some traders bordering on religion.
“The woman was said to have blasphemed Prophet Mohammed, which did not go down well with the people and they decided to take the law into their hands,” he said.
The police spokesperson said the body of the victim had been deposited at a hospital mortuary and that a special squad of the command had since swung into action with a view to arresting the killers.
The victim, a trader in domestic plastic wares at the market, was in the company of her husband when she was attacked by the angry mob with machetes.
Mr. Majiya said police intervention prevented the mob from also killing her husband.
The police spokesperson assured that the force were on the trail of the killers and would get them soon.
The Ohaneze Ndigbo, a socio cultural organization of Igbo people, Kano state chapter, led by Chris Azuka, condemned the killing and called for a thorough investigation to arrest the perpetrators.
He appealed for calm saying both Islam and Christianity do not support barbaric killing of innocent lives.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has described as sad and regrettable the developments that led to the killing of Bridget Agbahime, a market woman in Kano.
President Buhari in a statement by his spokesperson, Femi Adesina, on Saturday, condoled with the husband of the deceased, Mike Agbahime, the family and relations, praying that God would give them the fortitude to bear the loss.
He also commended law enforcement agents for apprehending the prime suspect behind the killing, as well as the Kano State government, which summoned a meeting of Christian and Islamic leaders, widower of the deceased, and security agencies, as soon as the sad event occurred on Friday.
President Buhari said justice would be done in the matter, and urged the people not to take the law into their hands.
He equally charged those who might want to use the development to fan the embers of religious or ethnic hatred to remember that two wrongs would never make a right, and that when law and order breaks down, those who become victims are never distinguished on the basis of religion or ethnicity.
“The incident at Kofar Wambai market, Kano city, is utterly condemnable, and the state government has been quite proactive. Let us ensure that we keep the peace, as justice will be done. Let us learn to respect each other’s faith, so that we can know each other and live together in peace,” the President said.
The president spoke shortly after the police confirmed that two suspected killers of the woman had been arrested.
Force Spokesperson, Kolawole Olabisi, said in a statement that the two key suspects – Dauda Ahmed and Subeiru Abubakar – we’re already in custody and would be speedily prosecuted.
Mrs. Olabisi added, “In order to ensure a diligent and professional investigation, the Inspector General of Police has directed the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in- charge of the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID) to deploy the Homicide Section of the Department to immediately take over the investigation of the case and ensure a meticulous investigation and speedy prosecution of the arrested suspects.
“The Inspector General of Police has also directed the Commissioner of Police of Kano State to sustain the community engagement actions which he is currently initiating with all strategic security stakeholders and community leaders in the State with a view to dousing the tension being generated by the condemnable incident.
“In addition, detachments of mobile and conventional police as well as the intelligence assets of the Force have been deployed to protect law abiding citizens, reassure the public, prevent the incident from degenerating into a major security threat and aid the Homicide Section being deployed in the location and apprehension of other suspects who are currently at large.
“The Force leadership empasises the sanctity of human lives and condemns in the strongest possible terms the violation of the right to life of citizens under any guise. The Inspector General of Police and the entire Nigeria Police Family, therefore, condole the family, friends and colleagues of the late victim and stressed that the Force shall uphold its Mandate touching on criminal justice delivery in the most firm and speedy fashion in this instance and in other cases of this nature.
“While the members of the public will be updated on progress of investigation into this case, they are advised to go about their normal activities and resist any temptation to capitalize on the incident to threaten national security as any such attempt will be firmly dealt with. The Inspector General also calls on Kano State residents and indeed, all citizens to imbibe the culture of tolerance, rule of law and peaceful co-existence and to trust and cooperate with the police as we strive to ensure justice in this case.”