Nigerian Police Stand By as Christian Student Is Stoned to Death

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A so-called blasphemy murder of a Christian student in Sokoto, Nigeria, on May 12 was attended by scores of armed, uniformed policemen who did not intervene, according to eyewitnesses who spoke to The Epoch Times.

One eyewitness, who asked for anonymity to escape government retaliation, said that at least 50 uniformed policemen, including six officers of the Department of State Security, were on the scene of the stoning of 22-year-old Deborah Emmanuel, but none acted to defend her.

Emmanuel’s father, Garba Emmanuel, was in Sokoto that day but did not see his daughter being killed by the crowd, according to Dr. Bola Adewara, a veteran journalist who interviewed the father for Elifeonline.

Another eyewitness was one of three uniformed members of the Department of State Security (DSS), which is often compared to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, who attempted to help the victim escape but were pushed back by the crowd.

“The police were nearby, but they utterly failed to rescue the girl,” the official said.

Commissioner of Police Kamaldeen Okunlola disputed the figure of 50 policemen at the scene but said there were “about 15 uniformed police there” and acknowledged that many had assault rifles, in a telephone interview with The Epoch Times. Videos of the mob scene on the campus show more than 100 young men carrying sticks and shouting.

Okunlola said the policemen did not fire their weapons.

Deborah Emmanuel, who was accused by fellow students of blasphemy in a WhatsApp message on May 11, was swarmed by 180 protestors calling for her death for the crime of blasphemy.

The account of all media follows the narrative of Sokoto police who said, according to the Washington Post, “the school authorities quickly deployed security personnel to protect Emmanuel, but they were overpowered by angry youths.”

A far different account has been given by eyewitnesses. The DSS source told The Epoch Times that the school authorities were monitoring internet chatter by students who were planning to attack Emmanuel on the evening of May 11 but failed because she was not in her student hostel.

By Douglas Burton

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