A former lecturer of Industrial Chemistry at the Kaduna State University, Professor Samuel Achi, has disclosed how his son, Sunday Achi, was strangled in a mosque at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi State, while the current Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, was the Chief Imam of the mosque.
The 67-year-old professor disclosed that his son was killed in the mosque on December 9, 2004.
Samuel in an interview with Punch on Wednesday said his son who was 24-year-old and a 400-level student of Architecture at the ATBU at the time was killed by Muslim students over an allegation that he was sharing tracts that contained blasphemous content.
The Prof further stated that his son was the leader of the students’ fellowship of the Evangelical Church Winning All Ministry.
He added that his son never shared a tract with blasphemous content but the Pantami-led Muslim community at the university pronounced a ‘fatwa’ on his son.
Samuel disclosed that his son was killed by the Muslim students who then threw his body off ATBU mosque, adding that he was able to retrieve the remains of Sunday with the intervention of the then governors of Kaduna and Bauchi states.
The father of the late student said, “The incident happened in the early hours of the 9th of December (2004). It was from the night of December 8 to the early hours of December 9 that it happened. From the fact that I had; from clear indications; from the confirmed information that I had, he was not stoned. He was actually strangled inside the mosque. His body was discovered outside the university mosque.”
The Prof who noted that he has forgiven everyone involved in the killing of his son, however, said his son would not be killed if Pantami was a man of peace.
He said, “As a Christian, my belief is that even though they killed him by pronouncing fatwa against him, he was doing God’s work, so, I don’t think we have to worry about it. God has comforted us and we have been able to forgive everybody that did that terrible act.”
“Of course, we have no control over it but the blood of my son would always hunt whoever has a hand in killing him.”
When asked specifically if he was aware that Pantami was the Chief Imam at the ATBU mosque at the time, the sexagenarian, who sounded slightly still heartbroken and not ready to reopen the memories, said, “Of course yes, it is all over the place, I don’t want to go back on that.”
“We are not surprised to hear news out of it. We have actually forgiven everybody involved in his killing,” he added.
A top official of ATBU that spoke on the incident said Sunday was killed in December 2004 when Pantami was the Chief Imam of the school.
The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “We lost a student called Sunday Achi in 2004 when Pantami was the Chief Imam. Pantami was a student but was later retained in the school.”
However, when contacted, Pantami’s aide, Uwa Suleiman, said the claim by Samuel was not true. She declined further comments on the matter.
The minister’s aide said, “The allegations are not true. Do your research but the allegations are not true.”