Shiite Members Protest Detention Of El-Zakzaky At National Assembly

Members of the Shiite sect also known as the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, (IMN) on Thursday barricaded ?the National Assembly’s entrance protesting the continued detention of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

Leader of the protesters and Secretary of the group’s Academic Forum in Nigeria, Mr Abdullahi Musa, told journalists that they came to the National Assembly to find out what the lawmakers were doing about the continued detention of El-Zakzaky.

He alleged that many of their members were recently killed in Kano but that government seemed to be indifferent, and would want to hear from the lawmakers what they intended to do.

According to him, the group is worried that, in spite of submitting several letters to the National Assembly, it is yet to get any reply, while their leader continues to be kept in detention.

“This is the third time we are coming here. We submitted a lot of documents to the National Assembly but we are yet to get any response.

“We submitted the third batch of documents yesterday and we came here today to hear from them,” he said.

He also said that members of the group were concerned about the safety of their leader and wanted to know the state of his health.

“We do not believe in the so-called protective custody. We want him freed so that he can go for his treatment. What we ask for is that justice prevails.

However, no lawmaker was available to listen to the Shiites protesters; instead, the divisional crime officer-in-charge of the National Assembly, Mr Francis Anebi, addressed them appealing to them to be orderly.

El-Zakzaky was arrested after the Shiite group was involved in a bloody clash with the Army in Zaria.

The group was accused of attacking the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai while they were on procession in Zaria.

Shiite Members Shun Judicial Commission Of Inquiry’s Sitting

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria on Monday shunned the inaugural sitting of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the December 12, 2015, violent clash between the group and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.

At the commencement of the public sitting at the General Hassan Usman Katsina House in the State capital, venue of the public hearing, as early as 9 O’clock in the morning and waited for about an hour without seeing members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. They did not send any representative or apology.

Members of the commission arrived at the General Hassan Usman Katsina House, venue of the public hearing as early as 9 O’clock in the morning and waited for about an hour without seeing members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria or their lawyers.

Their absence may be unconnected with their demand for the release of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and over 700 of their members, who were taken into custody by security operatives days after the incident.

But the Nigerian Army was represented at the sitting by the General Officer Commanding One division, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade.

The absence of the Shiite members compelled the commission to adjourn till Wednesday, February 4 in expectation that counsel to the commission, Yusuf Ali, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, would ascertain the whereabouts of Sheik El-Zakzaky and report back to the commission by the next sitting.

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189 Shiite Members Remanded In Prison

Some 189 Shiite members, who thought they could be granted bail on Wednesday, had their hopes dashed, as a Kaduna Magistrate Court remanded them in prison.

The members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria were arrested during the December 12, 2015 clash with the army in Zaria.

The bloody clash reportedly claimed hundreds of lives.  Already a 13-man Judicial Commission of Inquiry had been set up by the Kaduna State Government to unravel the circumstances surrounding the cause of the clash.

After the clash, police arrested over 190 suspects whom the police said were arrested for various offences.

At the hearing on Wednesday, the Magistrate Court, however, granted bail to four Shiite minors with the sum of 100,000 Naira each and two reliable sureties who will deposit valid means of identification.

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Kaduna Police Denies Killing Shiite Members

The Kaduna Police Command on Wednesday denied reports that its men killed three members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria during a protest at Tudun Wada area in the state capital on Tuesday.

The Command’s Public Relations Officer, Zubairu Abubakar, told our correspondent that none of the sect members was killed by policemen during a protest.

He further explained that the policemen were only sent to the area to forestall any break down of law and order following rumours that members of the movement were planning to embark on a violent protest in the state capital.

He also explained that the sect members were the ones that attacked the police patrol team with dangerous weapons, an act he said, prompted the policemen to use teargas to disperse the soaring protesters.

Zubairu stated that a combined team of soldiers and policemen have been stationed at Tudun Wada and other volatile areas in the state capital to maintain law and order, but advised members of the public to be law abiding and report any suspicious movement to security agencies.

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We Applied Minimum Force On Shiite Members- Army

Following the clash between the Nigerian Army and the Shiite movement during a procession on Saturday and the subsequent alleged arrest of the spiritual leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the army on Monday insisted that it applied minimum force to bring the situation under control despite the loss of lives.

Members of the group were alleged to have attempted to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria.
The Chief of Army Civil Relations, Brig. Gen. Rogers Nicholas, made this known while appearing on Kaakaki programme on African Independent Television (AIT), where he maintained that the army was not under pressure whatsoever in what transpired that day, stressing that the army did what was necessary to bring the situation under control.

According to him, “We tried to negotiate with them that look, you don’t have to do this; this is against the law of this country; you don’t have to do things like that. We warned them that what you are doing is against the law of this country,  and all of a sudden they started insulting the convoy and the next thing we heard was an explosion from their side. Of course, the Nigerian Army will respond appropriately within the rules of engagement for such situations and we did that, and with that we were able to clear the road.”

In order to give credence to his account about what transpired, he stated that NTA and AIT crew were also on the convoy that they were able to record the happenings of what transpired live, stressing that he hoped  both NTA and AIT would tell the people  exactly what happened.

Credit: ThisDay