Cleric, 14 others arrested over blasphemy murder in Abuja

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The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command yesterday arrested 15 suspects in connection with the killing of one Ahmad Usman, a member of a vigilante group, in the Lugbe Area of the FCT on June 4, 2022.

The arrest of the suspects followed investigation into the killing of the 30-year-old.

The Commissioner of Police, FCT Command, CP Babaji Sunday, said the Command would bring the perpetrators to book.

The cleric, who allegedly incited a mob that killed the security guard, Ahmad Usman, for alleged blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed at the Tipper Garage, Lugbe, Abuja, was one of those arrested.

It was gathered that the cleric, Malam Lawan, and others who participated in the extra-judicial mob action have been transferred to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command.

Usman, a member of the vigilance group at the Tipper Garage, was on Saturday stoned and burned to death by a mob for alleged blasphemy, on the directive of the cleric.

The Patrol Commander of Lugbe/Airport for the vigilance group, Abdulahi Umar, told The Nation that Usman, who got married early this year, was buried on Saturday according to Islamic rights.

Umar said the whole allegation of blasphemy was a framed-up by Malam Lawan.

He explained that the duo had a misunderstanding on Friday night after Usman, who was on security patrol, attempted to arrest some of the followers of the religious teacher after 12 midnight for wandering.

He said, “I sent Usman to patrol the garage and ensure the place was secure. Then he met Malam Lawan and directed that all the boys that were with him should be arrested and detained in the Vigilante Office. But the Malam resisted and accused the deceased of unruliness. There was an argument and he threatened to kill my boy that night.

“I am surprised that on Saturday morning, about six of them gathered in front of our office at about 8 am and said they came in connection with the issue that happened the previous day. I asked ‘which issue?’ They said my boy had blasphemed against Prophet Mohammed. I categorically said no”.

He said that after the misunderstanding was resolved he returned to the office only to see a mob of over 200 at the office demanding for Usman to be burned for blasphemy.

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