Brutal killing: Female student beaten to death, set afire in Nigeria by peers over “blasphemous” statements

In a brutal incident, a female student has been beaten to death and set afire in Nigeria by peers over accusations of making “blasphemous” statements in a student group on Whatsapp, media reports said citing police and witnesses.  

The incident happened in Nigeria’s northwesternmost state of Sokoto. The school was also immediately closed. In this case, two suspects have been held.   

The victim was identified as Deborah Samuel, said Sokoto state command spokesperson.   

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“There is a WhatsApp group being used by the students and her Muslim colleague student posted an Islamic piece. She criticised the posting. She composed an audio that contains blasphemous comments on the Prophet of Islam and posted in the group, that is what triggered everything,” a witnesses told Reuters on condition of anonymity.  

School security and police tried to rescue the victim but were overpowered by the students, the reports said citing witnesses.   

In a statement, police spokesperson Sanusi Abubakar said, “Students forcefully removed the victim from the security room where she was hidden by the school authorities, killed her and burnt the building.”  

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“Police fired teargas on the students…then began firing shots in the sky to disperse the students, but they resisted. The police sacrificed the lady after the students began throwing sticks and stones at them, then the students used stones and sticks to beat the lady. After being beaten, she was set on fire,” a student told Reuters.  

The Sultanate Council Sokoto also condemned the “unfortunate happenings…that led to the loss of life of a female student at the institution.”   


(With inputs from agencies)