By Luminous Jannamike & Ike Uchechukwu
ABUJA —Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the death sentence on five Christian youths in Adamawa State.
This came as the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, faulted the sentencing of five Christians to death.
They are Alex Amos, Alheri Phanuel, Holy Boniface, Jerry Gideon and Jari Sabagi.
The youths were recently convicted by Justice Abdul-Azeez Waziri of Adamawa High Court for attacking three herdsmen at Kadamun village in Demsa Local Government Area of the state, killing one, Adamu Buba, and maiming two others and several cattle.
According to CAN, President Buhari’s intervention would prevent a hasty implementation of the death sentence and give room for the study of the judgment’s text with a view to preventing a miscarriage of justice and a future re-occurence.
In a statement, yesterday, by its President, Rev Samson Ayokunle, CAN said: “Despite the outrage that has trailed the killings of Christians in Nigeria, it is disheartening that none of the killers has been brought to justice.
“We are shocked at the speed of light deployed by security and judicial officers in sentencing the alleged killers of the herdsman in Adamawa state.
“Why did the court discharge the alleged killers of Madam Bridget Agbahime on the orders of the Kano State Government? Why have security officials not arrested those behind the killings of Christians in Southern Kaduna, while those arrested for the murder of Mrs. Eunice Elisha Olawale in Kubwa, Abuja, have been set free by the Police?
“In view of the above, we are asking President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene in the death sentence passed on these Christian youths in Adamawa. We have called on our legal team to secure and study the text of the judgment with a view to preventing a miscarriage of justice and a future re-occurence.”
In a related development, CAN has said it was disturbed by reports that the Federal Government has allegedly directed Nigerian Army and Police to recruit some former members of Boko Haram terrorists who recently underwent de-radicalisation programme.
“CAN condemns such a policy in strong terms and asks the Federal Government, especially security agencies, to withdraw that directive, which is capable of compromising the nation’s security system,” Ayokunle said.
PFN faults death sentence
Meanwhile, in an interview with journalists in Calabar, yesterday, National Publicity Secretary of PFN, Bishop Emmah Isong, said the leadership of PFN at all levels oppose some of these policies that tend to divide Nigerians along religious lines rather than uniting the people.
According to him, ”it looks as if it is vengeance for a Yola court to condemn five Christians to death for allegedly killing herdsman when herdsmen are rampaging everywhere killing and maiming innocent Christians and going free.
“Though we are not backing anybody to commit crime, we rather feel that justice must seem to have been done in the case of the five Yola people. Then entire leadership of PFN protests totally against the judgment and calls for appeal to squash it.
“It is high time the Federal Government intervened and ensure that those Christians are not killed to forestall further religious conflict within that axis.
“Instead of killing people for herdsmen, Federal Government should rather find a way to curtail their activities and provide adequate security to all Nigerians, which the present administration promised on ascension to power in 2015.”
World Bishops write Buhari over five Nigerian Christians sentenced to death (see details)