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Pantami-led ATBU Muslim community issued fatwa, killed my son in a mosque – Prof

A former lecturer of Industrial Chemistry at the Kaduna State University, Professor Samuel Achi said that Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, was the Chief Imam of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Muslim community when his son, Sunday Achi, was strangled at the university’s mosque on December 9, 2004 in Bauchi.

The 67-year-old don said his 24-year-old son and 400-level student of Architecture at the ATBU at the time was murdered by Muslim students over allegation that he circulated a tract that contained blasphemous content.

The professor of Industrial Chemistry stated this during an interview with The PUNCH, adding that his late son, Sunday was the leader of the students’ fellowship of the Evangelical Church Winning All Ministry.

The sexagenarian said the tracts shared by his late son did not contain any blasphemous content but the Pantami-led Muslim community at the university pronounced a ‘fatwa’ on his son.

According to him, the Muslim students killed his son and threw his body off ATBU mosque, adding that it took the intervention of the then governors of Kaduna and Bauchi states for him to retrieve the remains of Sunday.

“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,” he said.

The academic stressed that were Pantami, who was the then chief imam of the mosque a man of peace, the killing of his son would not have occurred.

“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,” he added.

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 also said that Sunday was killed in December 2004 when Pantami was the Chief Imam of the school.

The official, who craved 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, 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.”

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