A Nigerian Special Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos State, has sentenced Pastor Erinmole Adetokunbo and another Christian, Adedoyin Oyekanmi, to death for beheading a seven-year-old Muslim boy, Kazeem Rafiu, and using his head for rituals in a church.
While delivering the judgement, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, maintained that the evil pastor and his accomplice “have cruelly and intentionally killed a seven-year old boy. This deprived him and his family of a bright destiny.”
The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) commended the judgement in a statement signed by its Deputy Secretary General, Prof. Salisu Shehu, on Wednesday August 24, 2022.
NSCIA acknowledged the development which it had been closely monitoring since the unfortunate incident sent shock waves to the country in 2017.
“We unequivocally commend the judiciary for meticulously carrying out the investigation and delivery of justice.
“Though it is well known that justice delayed is justice denied and we hope that the wheel of justice shall roll much faster in future, it is still gratifying that the prosecution was diligently carried out until judgement was served without fear or favour,” the Council said in a statement.
It added, “Many Muslims felt beheading a Muslim boy for church rituals is distasteful and provocative enough for NSCIA to have condemned Christianity and the Christians. Such Muslims, who expect NSCIA to adopt divisive propaganda approach of others, fail to realise that two wrongs do not make a right.
“The stance of the Council, however, is that one does not bite a dog because it has bitten one and you don’t roll with pig in the mud just because it enjoys doing so.
“The Council believes that criminals are criminals and they should be so treated without appealing to base emotions or using the crime of a minority to vilify, malign or torment the majority. Neither the church nor the Bible asked the evil pastor and his accomplice to do what they did, we insist, and they should be distanced from the teachings of Jesus.”
It stated further that “If the Council had chosen to be cantankerous like others, innocent Christians would have been unduly tormented, the church would have been maligned and the polity would have been overheated on the sensationalisation of a pastor murdering a Muslim and burying his head in his church.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the penchant for weaponising religion for political expediency and constantly harassing Muslims in general for the misdemeanor of every criminal that is nominally associated with Islam is detestable to every conscionable Nigerian, not just Muslims.
“Religious leaders should rather be circumspect in their utterances and pronouncements as true people of God, not politicians in cassocks.
“They should resist the temptation of inflaming passions through the baseless allegations of the so-called Fulanisation and Islamisation, which are actually a smokescreen for their discreet atrocities and undisguised bigotry against Muslims in Nigeria. This is just a piece of advice and religion is essentially about giving advice.”