The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has urged Muslims in Borno State to allow the police to handle a case of alleged blasphemy instead of taking the law into their hands.
The case involves a woman identified as Naomi Goni, who was alleged to have insulted Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
This comes after the killing of a Christian student of Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto by fellow students over alleged blasphemy last Thursday.
MURIC, in a statement signed by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola on Sunday, urged the Borno State government to intervene in the matter.
He said, “Another lady has reportedly blasphemed against the person of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). The latest incident happened in Borno State. The lady in the eye of the storm is Naomi Goni, a student of Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri.
“One Abdulmajid Tanko Izge who is leading the allegation against her said in his post, ‘There is a girl named Naomi Goni who insulted the Messenger of Allah (saw) and in Islam, it is a death sentence even if it is a Muslim. We, therefore, call on the Borno State Government to take immediate action or else we Muslims will not sleep and we will take action’.
“But neither Tanko’s message nor others that have been posted have revealed the actual blasphemous statement. Her accusers should therefore tell Nigerians the actual statement made by her which they consider blasphemous.
“In fact, the lady herself has refuted the allegation. She said her phone was hacked by someone last year. That casts a shadow of doubt on the allegation. It also makes her case different as she might not have been the author of the post.
“Tanko’s blanket statement that ‘in Islam, it is a death sentence even if it is a Muslim’ also calls for concern among Shari’ah experts as he did not differentiate between an offence committed by a Muslim and another committed by a Christian.
“It is well known in Shariah circles in Nigeria that a Christian cannot be taken to a Shariah court unless he or she expressly opts for it. Christians can only be charged to the conventional court (common law court). That is why Muslims of Borno State must allow the police to handle the case of Naomi Goni. She is a Christian and the security agencies are there to handle her if it is true that she has committed blasphemy.
“Muslims must stop issuing death threats concerning this case because that creates the impression that we are living in a lawless society and that we have no respect for the rule of law.
“MURIC calls on Islamic scholars in Borno to follow due process. There should be proper guidance and tutelage for our youths. We should allow the police to investigate the matter.
“The youths should also repose confidence in the state government. They should not entertain the fear that the police will connive with Naomi Goni. We have a governor here who has taqwah (fear of Allah). Professor Zulum will ensure that justice is done no matter whose ox is gored.
“We, therefore, appeal to Borno Muslims to stop issuing death threats. We also urge the police to conduct a transparent investigation of the case. An early conclusion of the findings will inject a dose of confidence in the public. We also suggest that the state government should set up a separate panel to investigate the matter.”