We will hold government responsible if El-Zakzaky dies in custody – Shiites

Alleging that the Federal Government was deliberately holding its leader in detention in order to turn him blind, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Shiites yesterday said the Federal Government would be held responsible if Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky dies in solitary confinement.

The Shiites again urged the government to immediately obey the court judgment ordering his release and wife for urgent medical attention.

According to a statement issued by its spokesman, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, “the doctor assigned to attend to our illegally detained leader, Sheikh Zakzaky, has clearly told the authorities detaining him that he could go blind if not given the proper medical attention he deserves without further delay.’’

IMN appealed to Nigerians to join them in mounting pressure on government to release him, in compliance with court order and to enable him attend to his health.

The group also called on Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to obey court order and free Sheikh Zakzaky. The Shiite leader and his wife were arrested in Kaduna in December 2015, in the wake of the clash between his followers and the Nigerian military.

The military authorities claimed the Shiite followers wanted to assassinate chief of army staff, General Tukur Buratai, which prompted soldiers to open fire on them.

The clash had been a subject of probe by the Human Rights Commission and the Kaduna State Government.

Shiites urge VP Osinbajo to release El-Zakzaky, wife

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites, has urged Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to release its leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and wife from detention.

The group’s spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, made the renewed call yesterday in a statement.

He said they were encouraged by Osinbajo’s recent statement at Eko Stakeholders Summit, which condemned police and judges for illegally detaining suspects without trial.

The Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, represented the acting president at the summit.

Musa urged Osinbajo, in his capacity as the acting president to release their detained leaders in line with his declaration at the summit.

He said this was necessary since a Federal High Court had ordered their release over a year ago.

He accused the Federal Government of not respecting the rule of law, stating that despite the fact that El-Zakzaky met his bail conditions within the stipulated time, he is yet to regain his freedom.

He said it is conflicting for government to condemn illegal detention of suspects when El-Zakzaky and others had been detained for more than one year without charging them to court.

Musa said: “It is unfortunate that Osinbajo, who is a professor of law and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), could serve in a regime that flouts court orders.”

He, therefore, urged Malami to demonstrate the country’s respect for the rule of law by commencing the process of their release.

Hundreds Of Shi’ite Protest Continued Detention Of El Zakzaky.

Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shi’ites in Nasarawa state, have again staged another protest over the continued incarceration of their leader, (Sheik) Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

This time, the IMN protesters joined their counterparts across the 36 states of the federation including Abuja, protesting what they termed illegal detention of their leader, due to the FG’s decision not to obey court order for the immediate release of El-Zakzaky, his wife and other members of the movement in 2016.

The continued detention of the IMN leader and his wife since December 2015, after the murder of over 300 of his followers has been an issue for the members of the movement leading protests for his release.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had on December 2, 2016 had awarded a cumulative sum of 50 million Naira to the Zakzakys and ordered the AGF and IGP to provide him a new accommodation and security in any part of Kaduna or Northern region that they prefer within 45 days; a judgment which is however yet to be obeyed.

The protesters, comprising of women, youths and children, gathered at the popular Lafia eid prayer ground along Shendam road.

They were seen carrying placards with different inscriptions lambasting the Federal Government for disobeying court order.

Chanted praises of the embattled leader, they demanded his unconditional release, as well as that of other members who have been in custody for over eight months.

Singing in the Hausa, Arabic and English languages, the group pledged their allegiance stating: “We will never rest until our leader and others are freed, despite stories of El-zakzaky’s deteriorating health condition due to gunshot wounds.

“Release Zakzaky or be charged with contempt”, Court tells DSS.

The federal high court sitting in Abuja says the Department of State Services (DSS) should release Ibraheem Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and Zennah Ibraheem, his wife, immediately.

On December 2, 2016, the court ordered the DSS to release Zakzaky and members of his family.

The court also ordered the police to get the IMN leader and his wife a safe place to stay.

Zakzaky has been in DSS custody since December 2015 when IMN members, also known as Shi’ites, clashed with Nigerian army in Zaria, Kaduna state.

However, in a notice by the court registrar to the DSS, Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP) and Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), he said if they not obey the order to release him from custody, they would be guilty of contempt.

The notice seen by TheCable which was entitled ‘Notice of Consequences of Disobedience to Order of Court’, read: “Take notice that unless you obey the direction contained in the order of federal high court of justice delivered on the 2nd December, 2016, which ordered you to release the applicants in suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/281/2016 and its sister suit no FHC/ABJ/CS/282/2016 withing forty days, inter alia you will be guilty of contempt of court and be liable to be committed to prison.

“A copy of the said order of earlier served on you is hereby annexed for your on-the-spot reference.

“This court has been informed that even as at Friday, the 20th January 2017, you are yet to comply with the lawful order of this honourable court by refusing to release th following persons namely; Sheikh El-Zakzaky and Mallama Zennah Ibraheem in your custody.

“Your are hereby directed to comply with the court order forthwith or you will guilty of contempt of court.”

9 Arrested As Police Break Up Shiites’ Protest At National Assembly Complex

The Police and members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shia group), on Wednesday, clashed at the entrance of the National Assembly Complex in Abuja. Members of the Islamic group had gone to peacefully protest the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakyzaky, but were tear-gassed by policemen.


The placard-wielding protesters, in their hundreds, arrived the main gate of the National Assembly Complex singing anti -government songs and calling on the government to obey a court ruling directing the Federal Government to release their leader. Sheikh El-Zakyzaky has been in the custody of the Department of State Security Services (DSS) for over a year.


The Police had earlier appealed to the protesters not to proceed beyond the Federal Secretariat Complex, claiming that the rally constituted a threat to the public.


But the plea was ignored, with the protesters heading towards the main gate of the National Assembly Complex while chanting: “Free Zakzaky”.


The rejection of the plea not to take their rally beyond the Federal Secretariat Complex made the Police to literally use tear gas to disperse them.


The protesters responded by picking up expended canisters of tear gas to hurl back at the policemen.  Some of the protesters resisted policemen who attempted to make arrests.


The situation was stopped from degenerating when the police elected to use watercannon to disperse the protesters.

Shiites Ask NHRC To Intervene In Zakzaky’s Continued Detention

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria have appealed to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to intervene in the continued detention of their leader, Mr Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

The group, popularly known as Shiites, took to the NHCR headquarters in Abuja to protest what they called “a flaunt on the laws of the land with impunity” by the Federal Government.

The Federal High Court in Abuja had in a ruling on December 2, 2016 ordered the release of the Shiites’ leader and his wife in 45 days, a deadline which had expired.

The Federal Government, however, is yet to obey the order.

The Shiites maintained that the government must obey the court order and release their leader and his wife, Zeenah.

The Secretary to the Academic Forum of the Islamic group, Mr Abdullahi Musa, described the continued detention as “unconstitutional and an infringement on the rights” of their leader and his wife.

Zaria Residents Protest Against El-Zakzaky's Release
Mr Ibraheem El-Zakzaky

“The court has ordered the government to free him (El-Zakzaky) within 45 days and today (Tuesday) is the 47th day (and) the government has not done anything. It has not shown any response to the court of law and law of the land, but at the same time they are calling (on) us to be peaceful.

“We have been peaceful since last three decades; we have been peaceful in this country (but) they have been killing us. The reason why we are here is to let the masses know that this government is not ready to free our leader.

“He is an innocent person who has been in detention since last year. So let the people know that the government is not ready to free him despite the court order and that is why we choose to come to the human rights commission because the right of our leader is being violated,” Musa said.

The acting secretary of NHRC, Mrs Oti Ovrawah, commended the group for the peaceful demonstration.

She assured them that the commission would intervene in the matter as soon as possible.

“We are receiving your complaints now and the work of the commission is to pass your complaints and advice the government accordingly.

“We have heard your complaints here (and) we are going to do the needful. We are going to advise the government accordingly in line with your complaints,” Mrs Ovrawah assured the Shiites.

Amnesty International calls for release of Shiite leader El-Zakzaky, as deadline ends today

The Federal Government must immediately comply with a High Court order and release the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife from detention, Amnesty International has said.

El-Zakzaky and his wife, Malama have been in detention without charge for more than a year following a clash between his supporters and the Nigerian military in which lives were lost. The authorities claim the Muslim cleric is being held in “protective custody.”

As the pressure mounts on the government, it is left with the option of releasing El-Zakzaky and his wife to avoid fuelling the allegation of illegal detention. The government may then expedite their prosecution to determine their guilt or innocence.

“El-Zakzaky is being unlawfully detained. This might be part of a wider effort to cover up the gruesome crimes committed by members of the security forces in Zaria in December 2015 that left hundreds dead.”

On 2 December 2016, the Federal High Court in Abuja ruled that El- Zakzaky and Malama should be released within 45 days. The court described their detention, which began in December 2015, as illegal and unconstitutional. The deadline for the court order expires today.

Amnesty International also called on the authorities to release other IMN supporters arrested at the same time as El-Zakzaky and his wife, who likewise remain in detention without charge.The group said its research showed that more than 350 IMN members were killed by security forces between 12 and 14 December 2015 in Zaria, Kaduna State.

The IMN is a Shit’ite religious organisation whose leader, El-Zakzaky, has been a proponent of Shi’a Islam in Nigeria since the 1980s.Processions, demonstrations and other activities organised by the IMN, usually without obtaining the necessary permits and at times blocking public roads, have resulted in confrontation with the Nigerian authorities and strained relations with other communities.

The controversy leading to the arrest of El-Zakzaky, his wife and hundreds of his disciples started with the clash between members of the Islamic group and soldiers late December, 2015, leading to the death of scores of the victims.

Specifically, on December 11, the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Tukur Buratai, was on its way to the Zaria depot of the Nigerian Army to review a parade of the 74 Regular Recruits and also later, to pay a courtesy call on the Emir of Zazzau, when it ran into the Islamic group who were on a procession.

The attempts by the COAS armed convoy to disperse the crowd were said to have been rebuffed and this led to a shootout and deaths of some Shiites members.The events that followed the bloody crisis led to the demolition of El-Zakzaky’s residence in Gyelesu area, IMN religious centre in Hussainiya, while the Shiites leader also lost one of his wives, Zeenat and his son, Sayyid Aliyu with several other members of the movement.

Besides, the outcry that followed the clash made the Kaduna State government to set up a commission of Inquiry, led by Justice Muhammad Garba Lawal to unravel the immediate and remote causes of the confrontation and make recommendations on how to avert such an incident in future, and further come out with punishment against anyone or group found guilty.

The Shiites who were enraged at the killings of their members and arrest and detention of El-Zakzaky, wife and other members of the group decided to embark on a series of protests. They boycotted the commission of inquiry set up by the state government, citing “lack of confidence” in members of the panel as one of the reasons for their action.

However, after several sittings by the Justice Lawal’s commission of
Inquiry, the panel finally released its report to the state government. One of its recommendations was the proscription of the religious body.

As the embattled IMN members continued to agitate for the release of their leader and other members, the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja came out with a judgment, urging the Federal Government to release El-Zakzaky within 45 days, and pay a compensation of N50 million to him and his wife.

Since the judgment by the Federal High Court, the government is yet to abide with it, while members of the IMN have continued to mount pressure for the release of El-Zakzaky and his wife.

Court Orders 24/7 Police Protection For El-Zakzaky And His Wife Upon Release.

An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court ordered 24/7 police protection for the leader of the Shi’a Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife once they are released from custody.

It would be recalled that Mr. El-Zakzaky was arrested by the military on December 14, 2015, after a clash between the movement and officers of the Nigerian army. The army killed at least 347 members of the group.

Justice G.O. Kolawole of the Federal High Court Abuja ordered El-Zakzaky, and his wife to be released from unlawful detention following the lawsuit filed on their behalf by human rights lawyer Femi Falana, SAN.

The court in Suit Number FHC/ABJ/CS/281/2016 between Sheikh Ibraheem Elzakzaky and State Security Service; the Nigeria Police Force; and the Attorney General of the Federation ruled that, “The Respondents shall within 45 days of this Judgment make proper and decent arrangement of a residential abode for the Applicant and his family in Kaduna State or anywhere of their choice within the Northern Region, where the Applicant and his wife and their children can relocate when released upon the expiration of 45 days from today (that is, 2/12/2016).”

The judgment dated  December 2 2016 reads in part: “Let me state clearly and for the avoidance of doubt that the failure by the government to effect the release of the Applicant and his wife from its custody or any illegal custody whatsoever, upon the expiration of the 45th day from 2/12/2016, such failure shall not only constitute a deliberate acts of disobedience of these orders, but it will crystallize into fresh cause of action of infraction of the Applicant’s rights and his wife to personal liberty guaranteed by the Constitution of Nigeria 1999, as amended.”

“The Inspector General of Police or any of its subordinate officers not below the rank of Assistant Inspector General when he received the Applicant and his wife as ordered, shall take immediate step within 24 hours of receiving the Applicant and his wife convey the Applicant and his wife under necessary security escort to their place of abode as would have been provided by the 1st Respondent working in conjunction with the 3rd Respondent. The 2ndRespondent shall then provide the Applicant and his wife police protection which shall operate 24/7 until the alleged threats which were not provided by any admissible evidence but left in the realm of speculation are moved or significantly diminished.”

“Let it be clearly stated and for the avoidance of doubt that the protection which the 2nd Respondent shall accord to the Applicant and his wife shall not be used under any guise by the 2nd Respondent to place or confine the Applicant and his wife under any form of restriction which would invariably translate to the 2nd Respondent substituting its own ‘safety custody’ with the 1st Respondent’s ‘protective custody’.

“The essence of the order which I have made is to enable the Applicant and his wife to be able to live their normal lives whilst being under constant protective watch by the 2nd Respondent’s officers in their new place of abode. It is the primary responsibility of the 2nd Respondent to protect lives and properties of every Nigerian and even non-Nigerian within our country’s boundaries.”

“Applicant and his wife in the said sister suit have cumulative general damages which I have fixed at N50 million. The Applicant’s suit and the wife’s sister suit succeed on the basis of the reliefs which the Court has granted.”

“When I reflected on all the issues and questions which I had raised in the course of reviewing the processes filed and exchanged by both parties, not only was I unable to set my eyes on the provision of any law or the Constitution by which the Applicant’s detention, albeit in a ‘protective custody’ can be justified.”

“By my modest understanding of constitutional law, every act of detention is presumed to be unlawful and having to the omnibus provision of Section 35 of the Constitution of Nigeria 1999 as amended, to be unconstitutional. The evidential burden to prove that the detention of any citizen or non-citizen who resides within the boundaries of Nigeria in the context of the exceptions in Section 35(1)(a)-(f) invariably lay on the State or any of its agents or agencies as the jailer.”

“The Court has not been afforded any believable evidence (for instance, to produce the Applicant in court in order for him in the full glare of the public, to denounce the suit filed on his behalf by Femi Falana, and to state as a free citizen, that he had consented to his being held in the custody of the 1st Respondent’s custody for his own safety) to prove the alleged consent of the Applicant to be held in protective custody.”

“The issues which the instant suit has thrown up are in my view too serious and of fundamental importance to the health of our national psyche in a democratic setting that this Court will fail the legitimate and expressed expectations of the Rules to enforce the Applicant’s fundamental rights allegedly breached by the Respondent. If I leave to borrow a folklore saying in the Yoruba language, a more deleterious ailment of leprosy as it were, and begin to grapple with the lesser issue of ‘ringworms.’

“To do so by dancing to such niggling issues of technicality will be a disservice to the demands of justice, and the legitimate expectation of majority of Nigerian people who look up to the Judiciary as the only arm of government empowered by virtue of the provisions of Chapter IV of the Constitution to serve as the bulwark against possible violations of the Constitution and occasional mindless abuse of powers by any of the arms or agencies of government.”

“While both learned Counsel have been duly heard on their respective processes, in the course of adjourning the case for Judgment, I deliberately engaged both the Applicant’s lead Counsel Femi Falana, Esq. SAN, who over the years has remained unarguably one of Nigeria’s legal profession’s constant and unwavering ‘combatant’ in the field and on the frontline of human rights advocacy and the Respondents’ Counsel.”

“My judicial intervention in this regard was to protect our country from further needless global exposure which the instant case has occasioned, and to minimize whatever damage the incident may have caused to our national image with the international community amongst friendly democratic states.”

AIG of police charges officers to monitor activities of Shi’ites

The Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone one comprising Kano, Katsina and Jigawa States, Mr Adamu Ibrahim, has charged police officers and men in the zone to remain vigilant and monitor activities of the Shi’ite group in the zone.

Ibrahim gave the charge while addressing officers and men of Jigawa Police Command in Dutse on Wednesday.

He explained that the recent clash between the Shi’ites and police in Kano indicated that they were a violent group and must be monitored seriously.

The AIG said that intelligence report had shown that the group had members all over the country and had leadership structure in 36 states of the federation, including Jigawa.

According to him, the leader of the group in every state is called ‘Governor’, pointing out that the police would not allow the group to form a parallel government in the country.

Ibrahim, therefore, tasked officers and men of the state Police Command to monitor the Shi’ites before they would begin to constitute nuisance or foment trouble in the peaceful state and the zone.

He commended the command for tackling the menaces of kidnapping, armed robbery as well as farmer/herdsmen clashes in the state.

Don’t protest in Abuja, Police warn Shiite IMN members

The police have warned the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, not to embark on any protest in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Federal Capital Territory Police Command said it had been informed of a planned protest by the IMN.

The police warned the group to desist from embarking on any protest.

“The attention of the FCT Police Command has been drawn to the plan by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria to carry out mass protest at the Three Arms Zone, Abuja on Wednesday, 14th, December, 2016.

“The Command wants to state unequivocally that the action of the group is illegal as they have neither written to notify the Command of their planned action nor have they secured any approval from the Commissioner of Police go on with the planned protest.

“It is sequel to the above that FCT Police Command is warning members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria to immediately stay action on their planned protest or be prepared to be dealt with in accordance with the appropriate sections of the law,” said the statement which was signed by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Manzah Anjuguri.

Despite court orders rulings that have shown that Nigerians do not need a police permit to embark on protest, the police have always insisted on such especially for protests considered unfavourable to the government in power.

In a reaction to the police statement, a leader of the IMN said the group has no immediate plans to embark on such protest.

The Secretary General of the Academic Forum of the IMN, Abdullahi Musa, who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES on the matter, said his members have not protested since a court ruling ordering the release of the Shiite leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

“We took the case to court. And the court ruled in our favour and said that they should release our leader in 45 days. What sense will it make if we start protesting before that time. We have not protested and we will not protest till the 45 days elapses; if he is not released,” Mr. Musa said.

“Although I heard that a group protested yesterday, but I am telling you that we, the Shiite members whom I speak for, have not protested and will not protest now,” he said.

An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court had on December 2 ordered the release of Mr. El-Zakzaky.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole ordered the Nigerian government to release the cleric within 45 days, from December 2.

Mr. El-Zakzaky has been detained without trial since December last year after over 300 members of the IMN were killed by soldiers in controversial circumstances in Kaduna.

We’ll push for the ban of Shi’ites, says Sokoto government.

Suleiman Usman, attorney-general of Sokoto state, says the government is ready to lead the campaign for the ban of the activities of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, also known as Shiites.


He said this at a press briefing that held after a security meeting in the state.


Usman said Sokoto decided on advocating for the ban on activities of Shiite movement because the group is set to hold a regional meeting in the state.


He said states cannot effectively enact laws that will stop the activities of Shiites, adding that there needs to be a law at the national level to stop the Shiites from going on with their planned activities.


“There are reports that activities of some groups, especially the activities of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) that are aimed to strain the security of the state. The state’s security council held an emergency meeting to warn the IMN or any other groups,” he said.


Muhammed Abdulkadir, commissioner of police, said the force received intelligence that the sect will organise a joint African general meeting in Sokoto.


He said the meeting, if allowed to hold, might pose a threat to peace in the state.


Abdulkadir said the police and other security agencies in the state will commence a stop and search operation in the state.

Security Agencies Studying Shiites’ Audio Message Threatening Revenge Of Zaria Attacks

Security agencies are currently studying a purported audio message of an unnamed cleric of the Islamic Movement Nigeria (Shiites) threatening to avenge the death of over 300 members of the sect in last year’s attack by Nigerian soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna State, SaharaReporters has learnt.

The threat of reprisal, SaharaReporters learnt, is directed against the Nigerian military and the government. The attack, which took place exactly a year ago on Sunday, presaged the outlawing of the group.
SaharaReporters’ translation of the Hausa audio message yielded naked threats to the military and government. It detailed the attacks on the sect, describing the country as an animal kingdom and warning that the group has not forgiven attacks against its members and will never forgive.

The message alleged that the sect has been treated with disdain, claiming that Niger Delta militants and Boko Haram, who are in open armed conflict with the country, are treated with leniency. The group warned that if any untoward thing should happen to its leader, Ibrahim El Zakzaky, the whole of the country will be made to pay.

See transcript below:

“We were just killed like that in a broad daylight. There was no any reason for that massacre apart from the fact we say Prophet Muhammad is the messenger of God and we wanted to adhere to the part that was brought by the Prophet Muhammad. To them, why should we say that? That’s why they created laws that were not in the constitution; that were not in the state bills, that were not in any law in any nation and implemented them on us.

“So, what happened from December to date has taught us many lessons. First of all, we knew which country we are living in. We knew that we are living in the animal kingdom. We knew our enemies within us. We knew the laws that were made for us. We knew their weaknesses. What we are telling them now with a harsh voice that it is one year from the mass killings in Zaria. And is also two weeks now from the mass killings in Kano. We are also fully aware of their plan for another mass killings.

“We swear to Almighty God that what they did to us we have not forgiven and we will never forgive. We did not stop, and we will never stop. We swear to Almighty God we must take revenge. We all now know their language because what we thought was these people have a sense of reasoning since we have so many times told them that we don’t carry weapons and we don’t fight. Thinking that they will call us for reconciliation, but instead, they are killing us daily and pushing us to the wall.

“Is this how we are going to allow these people to be killing us? To kill our men, our women, and our children? Is this how we are going to live? We must take all possible means to start protecting ourselves. We want this message to reach them that we will start protecting ourselves. If we we are living in a country where there is a government, we may expect something to be done. But we realize that we are living with animals. That is why we are telling them in a harsh voice we will start protecting ourselves. We will not fold our arms so that everyday they will come and kill our women and children.

“Niger Delta militants have their arms with them fighting the government, killing the soldiers, killing policemen and vandalizing oil pipelines. But up to now, they are not killed like us. Boko Haram also have their weapons, killing soldiers, policemen,  but the number killed are also not like us, we the followers of Malam Zakzaky. This is just to show that if  we had taken our weapons, we wouldn’t have being killed like this. They have killed over 2,000 among us just like that. We swear we will start protecting ourselves. We will not continue just to sit down like that and be killed. Common sense will not accept this.

“The only solution to this problem is, we either stop practising our religion, so that they will stop killing us or we take some measures to protect ourselves so that everyone will suffer. One life is not superior to the other.  This is my message and I can repeat it everywhere and in front anyone.

“We are still saying that  if anything happens to our leader, Malam Zakzaky, I swear, it will affect everybody. No one will live in peace. Let them not think that if they kill our leader, we will just cry, mourn, wear black clothes and leave everything to God. We are going to change our approach in a way no one expects.”

“Release Zakzaky, punish soldiers who killed Shi’ites”, US tells Buhari

The United States wants the Nigerian government to expedite action on the recommendation of the white paper on last year’s clashes in Zaria, Kaduna state.


John Kirby, assistant secretary and department spokesperson of the Bureau of Public Affairs, said the US government had fully agreed with the recommendations in the White Paper.


“On December 5th, the Kaduna state government in Nigeria issued a long-awaited white paper on clashes last year that resulted in the deaths of a reported 348 civillians and one soldier,” Kirby said on Friday.


“We fully agree with the white paper’s recommendation that members of the military who were involved in the unlawful killing of civilians must be held accountable and punished appropriately.”


“As the one-year anniversary of this tragic event approaches, we call on the federal government to be diligent, transparent, and expeditious in following through on this recommendation.”


Kirby said that his government was also concerned with the paper’s characterisation of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) as an “insurgent group”.


He said that the US government would also want to encourage the federal government to act on the judgement of an Abuja high court mandating the release from prison of IMN leader Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife, within 45 days.


He said that his government had therefore enjoined the different levels of government to evolve ways of non-violent engagement with all citizens, including minority religious groups.


“We also encourage the federal government to act on the Abuja high court’s decision on December 2 that IMN leader Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife should be released from prison within 45 days, as they have been held without charge since the events of last December,” Kirby added.


“As the white paper notes, the right to freedom of worship is a cherished constitutional right in Nigeria that must be protected. We encourage the people and the government of Nigeria to support these fundamental principles, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or region.”

Zaria Clash: Shiites Reject Kaduna White Paper

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiites, has rejected Kaduna State Government’s White Paper on its clash with the officers of the Nigerian Army on December 15, 2015.

The state government, on Monday, released a White Paper on the clash and branded members of the IMN as terrorists, having banned the movement in October, based on the recommendartions of its Judicial Commission of Inquiry.

Regardless, addressing journalists, yesterday, Head of IMN’s Shuhadah Foundation, Sheikh AbdulHamid Bello alleged that the state government ignored 99 percent of the recommendations of the commission and recognised only those which called its restriction.

Asked if IMN is a registered organisation, Sheikh Bello said all organisations under IMN are registered, and added that, “IMN is not a body, it is a phenomenon. It is not an organisation, it is like Islam and Christianity. Can you register Islam, can you register Christianity?. So, all organisations under IMN are registered.

“From our preliminary analysis of the so-called retroactive White Paper, Kaduna state government rejected 99 percent of the core recommendations of the Jcommission and only accepted the ones which suggested the unconstitutional restriction of IMN activities in Nigeria and continuation of hostile activities towards its properties.

On Monday, Kaduna officially branded the IMN as  terrorists in a White Paper released by media aides of Governor Nasir Ahmad el-Rufai.

The state government indicated readiness to prosecute detained Shi’ite leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, holding him solely responsible for the December 2015 clash and deaths, therefrom.

Meanwhile, Senator Danjuma Tella La’ah has described comments ascribed to Governor Nasir el-Rufai that he paid Fulani herdsmen to stop killings in Southern Kaduna, as nonchalant attitude to the plight of 19 affected communities.

Senator La’ah, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) also faulted a threat by the state government to arrest and prosecute those calling on the people of Southern Kaduna to defend themselves since government has failed in that responsibility. The lawmaksaid he should be the first to be arrested as he has also suggested same.

Read More:


Police warns Shiite group against disrupting public peace in Kaduna

The Kaduna State Police Command has warned members of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) against any form of procession in the state.


A statement by the command’s spokesman, Aliyu Usman, issued in Kaduna on Thursday also declared a group called Civilian JTF, an unlawful organisation.


It warned that any activity including the disruption of peaceful and free movement of people by the two organisations would not be tolerated.


“The command, therefore, wishes to reiterate that person (s) found organising or conducting unlawful processions in any part of the state shall be dealt with in accordance with the law.”


The statement advised the public to go about their lawful businesses, as adequate security measures have been put in place to guarantee their safety.


It stressed that it would deal decisively with any form of “lawlessness, inciting disturbances, unlawful assembly and any other action capable of breaching the peace of the state”.


It also cautioned residents to be vigilant, security conscious and report any suspicious activity during the ember period.

Shi’ites Is The Next Boko Haram – Nothern Elders Tell Buhari

The Borno Elders Forum via its Chairman Usman Galtimari has written a letter to President Buhari advising him to intervene and put a stop to the power tussle btw security forces and Shi’ites in Kaduna State

The letter read in part, “From what we read and heard in the print and electronic media, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria has been branded as an insurgency group and therefore outlawed. We see what is happening in Kaduna State as similar to what happened in Borno State back in 2009 leading to a sorry state of affairs in the State.

“Your Excellency may concur with us that there is the need to draw lessons from our recent and indeed ongoing crisis in the North-East and pockets of other crisis across the country. It is therefore necessary to take all the available routes to avert any further incidents.

“We wish to appeal to you to arrest the Kaduna situation and amicably settle all contending issues so that peace will reign in central Nigeria. Our harrowing experiences in the North-East should be enough to guide us as a nation to cultivate peace and peaceful co-habitation.”

Lawyers disagree with Kaduna govt. labelling Shiite IMN “insurgent group”

Nigerian lawyers have expressed divergent views on the legality of the action by the Kaduna State government designating the Shiite group, IMN, an “insurgent group.”

While one of the lawyers who spoke in interviews with PREMIUM TIMES said the declaration was constitutional, others said it was not.

The Kaduna State government in a White Paper released on Monday said “for all intent and purpose, the IMN is an insurgent group and ought to be treated as such.”

The government also vowed to prosecute the group’s leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky for “crimes” committed by him and his followers for the past 30 years.

Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife have been detained without trial since December last year after soldiers killed over 300 members of his group.

The soldiers accused the IMN members of blocking the road and plotting to kill the Army Chief, Tukur Buratai; a claim the Shiites denied.

The killing was condemned by local and international rights group.

A Federal High Court in Abuja on December 2 declared the detention of Mr. El-Zakzaky as unconstitutional and ordered his release within 45 days.

The judge, Gabriel Kolawole, also awarded a N50 million fine in favour of Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife, against the State Security Service, SSS, and the Attorney General of the Federation.

He ordered that a safe place of residence be created for the cleric and his wife in Kaduna State, and that the IMN should not be demonised.

“I am of the view that the applicant need not be demonised, but that they should be allowed to practice the faith they choose,” said Mr. Kolawole.

Three days after Mr. Kolawole’s judgement, the Kaduna government announced its decision to label the IMN an insurgent group. The state government had earlier banned the group.


In his reaction, Akin Olujimi, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said the Kaduna government acted based on law, and therefore the declaration was constitutional.

“The terrorism act contains provisions empowering government to declare an organisation a terrorism organisation. These are security issues that rely in intelligence which you and I may not be privy to. So when they have those intelligence they can now come out to say the group is a terrorist group,” he said.

“But we must also know that the court has a power to determine a matter before it. If the court has enough evidence before it that a group is a terrorism organisation the court will make such a pronouncement. But if it does not have enough evidence to make such a declaration, it will not make such a pronouncement. It will only ensure that the fundamental rights of parties are respected.”

In a contrary opinion, another senior advocate, Simon Ameh, said the declaration is null and void.

“The people are entitled to peaceful assembly, it is their constitutional right. He (the governor) has no right to ban them. The Kaduna State government just has a duty to ensure compliance to law and order. But this declaration in law is null and void,” said Mr. Ameh.

Similarly, another lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, said the declaration is a complete aberration of the provisions of law and an invitation to disaster.

“Even without a positive pronouncement of a court order, the act by the Kaduna State government is illegal and unconstitutional,” Mr. Ogunye said.

“The right to freedom of religion is guaranteed by the constitution and government ought not to make it a habit to infringe on that right.

“The Shiite are a religious minority in northern Nigeria and the invasion by the northern part of Nigeria including the Nigerian government is that they are using state authority to wage a sectarian battle. Nigeria is not an Islamic state, so whatever problem the Shiites and the Sunni Muslims might have, ought to not be the problem of Nigeria. So when you use state apparatus to destroy the lives and homes of these people, declare them an insurgent group and then ban them; what impression are you creating.

“The attack of December, 2015 did not result in the death of one military officer; innocent Nigerians were reportedly killed in that incident. You cannot use state apparatus to wage sectarian battle against a religious group. When the Boko Haram issue started, that was how it was poorly managed till today it has become a Nigerian problem,” Mr. Ogunye said.

Muslim Rights Concern blasts Kaduna government for labelling Shiite IMN “insurgent group”

The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has condemned the Kaduna State Government for declaring the Shiite IMN an “insurgent group”.

The civic group described the action of the Kaduna State Government as “a very dangerous dimension.”

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Kaduna State Government in its White Paper released on Monday stated that “for all intent and purpose, the IMN is an insurgent group and ought to be treated as such.”

The government said it would prosecute the detained leader of the IMN, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, for all the “other crimes” his group has committed in the past 30 years.

Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife have been detained without trial since December last year after soldiers killed over 300 members of his group.

The soldiers accused the IMN members of blocking the road and plotting to kill the Army Chief, Tukur Buratai, a claim the Shiites denied.

The killing was condemned by local and international rights group.

In its statement on Tuesday signed by its director, Ishaq Akintola, apart from condemning the Kaduna government, MURIC also cautioned the IMN on its past actions calling on members of the group “to do some self-assessment.”

Read MURIC’s full statement below.

Kaduna State Government yesterday declared the embattled Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) an insurgent group.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) rejects this new label for an otherwise pacific organization. The new declaration is nothing short of calling a dog a bad name in other to hang it. Kaduna State government is being economical with the truth, killing a fly with a sledge hammer and engaging in executive tyranny.

This is a very dangerous dimension. Coming shortly after a competent court of law ordered the release of the IMN leader, Shaykh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky from detention, this stigmatization is just another attempt by the state government to jump the gun. The declaration is short in equity, long in injustice. But we must remember Martin Luther’s warning that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

Kaduna government is pregnant with ingredients of all the five evils which Chamberlain spoke about, viz, brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution. Why is it that the only thing men learn from history is that they learn nothing from history? Kaduna has not learnt anything from the Boko Haram phenomenon. Kaduna has chosen to prove both Hegel and Karl Marx right in their postulate that history always repeats itself.

MURIC is however constrained to remind all stakeholders of the divine warning contained in Qur’an 8:25 “Fear a tumult which will affect those who caused it as well as the innocent ones”. Was this not how Boko Haram started? Police brutality and extra-judicial killing of the group’s leader caused its metamorphosis into a terror machine. But is it the police alone that are facing the consequences today?

MURIC calls on well-meaning Nigerians to speak out. It was the great Shaykh Uthman Bin Fudi (Uthman Dan Fodio) who said, “In an unjust society, silence is a crime…” Let us speak up now before it is too late.

But members of the IMN also need to do some self-assessment. Something must be wrong with a system against which so many neighbours testify. Several people (including Muslims) confirm that they had had bitter encounters with members of the IMN. They complain about the group’s open display of arrogance. All those people could not have been lying. Something must be wrong with a doctrine which embarrasses the rest of The Muslim Ummah and from which they dissociate themselves.

We commend the leadership of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) for its efforts in resolving the IMN debacle and the maturity it has manifested in handling the matter. Due to the sensitive nature of the issue, NSCIA has engaged in quiet diplomatic shuttling between governments and the IMN from the beginning. We urge the NSCIA to continue the dialogue.

In conclusion, we appeal to the Kaduna State government to de-label IMN and begin a process of reconciliation and reorientation for its members. That is the path of visionary leadership and responsible governance. It is the path of peace. On its own part, IMN must improve its relationship with other Islamic organizations.

Anti-Zakzaky protesters storm high court

Protesters under the aegis of Coalition on Good Governance and Change Initiative (CGGCI) stormed the federal high court in Abuja on Monday.


The demonstrators expressed dissatisfaction with the order to free Ibraheem Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).


On Friday, Gabriel Kolawole, a judge of the court, ordered that he should be released within 45 days.


Zakzaky and some of his followers were arrested in December, following a clash involving the military.


Okpokwu Ogenyi, president of CGGCI, said the order given by the court to free Zakzaky was “legalising terrorism”.


“Judiciary has dealt a fresh blow to the future of Nigeria by legalising terrorism while leaving the rest of us at risk of losing our lives,” he said.


“In the space of one week, the judiciary has ordered dangerous fanatics and demagogues to be returned to the streets to resume brainwashing, radicalizing and militarising vulnerable youths in the population.


“This could have only been in keeping with fulfilling obligations entered into for less than honourable considerations even as we cannot rule out a judiciary that is taking its pound of flesh from an executive arm that has exposed the sleaze on its soiled bench.


“If the entire judiciary has activated its vendetta against the security agencies that they see as the executive arm, the precedence set by Justice Gabriel Kolawole took things to the ridiculous by awarding N50 million of tax payers’ money to finance IMN’s radicalisation programme while also asking that the police further deploy its personnel to protect a man whose sect members.


“This judge also failed to realise the weight of his utterance that  has basically ordered the government to build a new headquarters for a proscribed group – we do hope he will keep himself on the bench for when other terror groups approach to demand for the government to build them headquarters.”

Judicial commission of inquiry has exposed the ‘true nature’ and status of Shi’ites – GGI

The Good Governance Initiative (GGI) has described the release of Kaduna state government’s White Paper on the judicial commission of inquiry that investigated the clash between the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the Nigerian Army as a welcome development.


The group also said Nigerians never doubted the fact that the army acted within its mandate of protecting the territorial integrity of the country.


According to a statement signed by Uche John, coordinator of GGI, Nigerians will continue to support the army in its quest to protect the law abiding citizens from any form of aggressor.


He urged the federal government to act on recommendations against IMN, emphasising that anyone caught committing a crime under the guise of religion should be tried under the relevant anti-terror legislations.


The document, which was released on Monday, said the army acted within its rules of engagement.


“We laud the exoneration of the Nigerian Army, which was cleared of any wrongdoing as an institution and we see this as the removal of obstacles that terrorist sponsors had tried to place in the way of the army to reduce its ability to protect Nigerians,” he said in a statement.


“The White Paper has laid to rest the true nature and status of IMN as an insurgent group whose members bear arms and had refused to evacuate Gyallesu area of Zaria, Kaduna state ahead of the referenced military operation in the report.


“We hope that those that have been mounting propaganda on behalf of IMN would now accept the position stated in the document that the Nigerian army abided by its rules of engagement in dealing with the organisation.”


He further urged judicial officers to familiarise themselves with this document “especially since more IMN members could soon be charged to court over their role in the group’s decades of insurgency against the Nigerian state”.

Don’t Demonise Shiites, Judge Warns Nigerian Government

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday warned Nigeria’s government against demonising Shiites and their Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN.

Delivering judgement in a bail application sought by the IMN leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the trial judge, Gabriel Kolawole, said Nigeria’s government must allow its citizens enjoy the fundamental right to freedom.

“I am of the view that the applicant need not be demonised, but that they should be allowed to practice the faith they choose,” said Mr. Kolawole.

The judge said Nigeria’s law allows a person or group to practice whatever religion they choose and in whatever manner that they deem fit.

He said although it is a known fact that most Nigerian Muslims are Sunnis, the constitution allows freedom of thought and worship.

Mr. Kolawole described the Shiite’s relationship with the Nigerian government as “delicate and slippery”.

He said his court was set to give its judgement since October 5 but decided to allow parties settle out of court, considering the sensitive nature of religious issues.

“They are much more delicate and judicially speaking, slippery in nature,” Mr. Kolawole said.

Read More:


BREAKING: Court orders immediate release of Nigeria Shi’a leader, El-Zakzaky

An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Friday ordered the release of the leader of the Shi’a Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

Mr. El-Zakzaky was arrested by the military on December 14, 2015, after a clash between the movement and officers of the Nigerian army.

The army killed at least 347 members of the group.

Mr. El-Zakzaky approached the court to demand his release, months after he was arrested without being charged to Court.

He asked the Court to declare that his arrest and continued detention violated his fundamental rights.

His lawyer, Femi Falana, said the court should declare that the continued detention of his client without charging him, was unlawful.

Delivering the judgement, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, rejected the submission of the counsel to the State Security Service, Tijjani Gazali, that Mr. El-Zakzaky was kept in protective custody of the SSS.

He said the decision to hold the Islamic cleric and his wife for their safety was not based on law.

“I have not been shown any incident report or any complaint lodged by residents around the neighbourhood that the applicant has become a nuisance to his neigbourhood,” said the judge.

He said the decision of the government to hold the applicant for so long amounted to great danger.

Citing the death of former leader of the Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf, the judge said; “If the applicant dies in custody which I do not pray for, it could result in many needless deaths”.

Mr. Kolawole said the government should within 45 days release the applicant and his family to the police, who shall within 24 hours take them, guarded by escort, to a safe place.

He added that the SSS will pay a fine of N25 million each to Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife, making N50 million.

Shiites storm National Assembly, demand El-Zakzaky’s release.

Members of the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, on Thursday stormed the National Assembly to protest the continued detention of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

Mr. El-Zakzaky was arrested in December after over 300 members of his group were killed for blocking a road in Kaduna. The soldiers also accused the IMN members of plotting to kill the army chief, Tukur Buratai, although no evidence was provided for that and the IMN denied the allegation.

An application for Mr. El-Zakzaky’s bail by his lawyer  Femi Falana, is expected to be determined by an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Friday.

The protesters led by the secretary of the academic forum in Nigeria, Abdullahi Musa, said they had gathered to know the position of the Senate regarding the continued detention of their leader.

“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,” said Mr. Musa.

He said although government had said they were keeping Mr. El-Zakzaky in protective custody, no member of the movement believed he is being protected.

“We do not believe in the so called protective custody. We want him freed so that he can go for his treatment. They have inflicted several injuries on him. What we ask for is that justice prevails,” he said.

Mr. Musa said they were at the National Assembly to know what the Senate would do and if government plans any action regarding their members who he said were killed by security operatives during peaceful protests across the country.

“They killed our member and government has been silent. We want to know what their position is,” said Mr. Musa.

At least eight members of the movement were confirmed dead in Kano, alongside a police sergeant on November 14 after police officers tried to stop the IMN protesters.

The Divisional Crimes Officer at the National Assembly; Frances Anebi, addressed the protesters, urging them to remain calm.

Biafra and the business of killing – Okey Ndibe

Except in extremely isolated cases — for example, as an act of self-defense — it is morally indefensible for individuals to engage in extra-judicial killing. When a government makes it its business to slaughter unarmed citizens that government reveals itself as criminally thuggish and the state in whose behalf that government kills loses its moral legitimacy.


That, I am afraid, is the burden that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has placed on itself.


Last week, Amnesty International (AI), a human rights group, released a chilling report on the Buhari administration’s excessively brutal response to members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) who have been agitating for the rebirth of Biafra. The AI report is a thorough job, based on interviews of 193 people (most of them eyewitnesses), analysis of 87 videos and 122 photographs “showing IPOB assemblies, members of the security forces in the process of committing violations and victims of these violations.” Much of the 60-page report is devoted to offering painstaking accounts of how Nigeria’s security agencies, including the military, killed, maimed, and tortured pro-Biafra agitators.


For those who can’t stomach much gore and horror, I would recommend AI’s executive summary, which highlights the sad, sobering facts. That summary begins, “Since August 2015, the security forces have killed at least 150 members and supporters of the pro-Biafran organisation IPOB (Indigenous Peoples of Biafra) and injured hundreds during non-violent meetings, marches and other gatherings. Hundreds were also arbitrarily arrested.”


According to Amnesty International, “Video footage and eyewitness testimony consistently show that the military, which has been deployed instead of police to control pro-Biafran events, has dispersed peaceful gatherings by firing live ammunition with little or no warning. This report documents extra-judicial executions and the use of excessive force by military, police and other security agencies. It also shows a worrying pattern of arbitrary arrests and detentions, including soldiers arresting wounded victims in hospital, and of torture and other ill-treatment of detainees.”


As the head of the Nigerian state, President Buhari bears ultimate responsibility for the carnage committed by Nigeria’s security agents. He is not the first Nigerian ruler to oversee mindless mass killing. Under former President Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigerian troops went on a homicidal rampage in Odi, Bayelsa State, and Zaki Biam, in Benue State. The late President Umaru Yar’Adua was in control when Nigerian soldiers swept through Maiduguri and other cities in Borno State, killing hordes of men on mere suspicion that they belonged to the Islamist group, Boko Haram.


President Buhari has earned a place in the bloodlust. Under his watch, troops slashed and burned their way through a Shiite neighbourhood near Zaria, Kaduna State. His inflexible stance on the vexed issue of Biafra, marked by a dismissive tone, has helped to create a violent climate. Perhaps encouraged by the President’s hectoring style, heavily armed soldiers and other security personnel have gleefully mowed down agitators who dared hoist up IPOB banners.


The President it was who, in a televised interview, defended the illegal detention of IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, despite two court orders granting him bail. Amnesty International’s report cited instances when Mr. Buhari used intemperate language to voice his opposition to Biafra. “For example, in May 2016 he said: ‘We will not let that [division of Nigeria] happen. For Nigeria to divide now, it is better for all of us to jump into the sea and get drowned.’ Similarly, in September 2016, he said: ‘Tell your colleagues who want Biafra to forget about it.’”


In late September, AI investigators wrote to Nigerian authorities, including the security agencies, to share their findings. The human rights group received responses only from Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice as well as Inspector-General of Police. But, according to Amnesty International, “neither answered the questions raised in the [AI’s] letter.”

Even so, once AI prepared its final report, the Nigerian Army trotted out an effete reaction. The military response was a rather familiar mélange of clichéd assertions bereft of evidence. Signed by military spokesman, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, the statement claimed that AI’s report was “an outright attempt to tarnish the reputation of the security forces in general and the Nigerian Army in particular, for whatever inexplicable parochial reasons. For the umpteenth time, the Nigerian Army has informed the public about the heinous intent of this non-governmental organisation, which is never relenting in dabbling into our national security in manners that obliterate objectivity, fairness and simple logic.”


Colonel Usman went on: “The evidence of MASSOB/IPOB violent secessionist agitations is widely known across the national and international domains. Their modus operandi has continued to relish violence that threatens national security. Indeed, between August 2015 and August 2016, the groups’ violent protests have manifested unimaginable atrocities to unhinge the reign of peace, security and stability in several parts of the South East Nigeria.


“A number of persons from the settler communities that hailed from other parts of the country were selected for attack, killed and burnt. Such reign of hate, terror and ethnoreligious controversies that portend grave consequences for national security have been averted severally through the responsiveness of the Nigerian Army and members of the security agencies.


“These security agencies are always targeted for attack by the MASSOB/IPOB instruments of barbarism and cruelty. For instance, in the protests of 30 – 31 May 2016, more than five personnel of the Nigeria Police were killed, while several soldiers were wounded, Nigeria Police vehicles were burnt down, same as several others of the Nigerian Army that were vandalised.”


Reading through AI’s report, one had the impression that the investigative process was rigorous and painstaking. By contrast, the military’s notion of a refutation struck one as shamefully infantile.


What exactly does “reign of hate, terror and ethnoreligious controversies” mean? Far from exonerating the military, Colonel Usman’s stilted and strained language had the ring of unwitting admission of the Army’s complicity in the massacre of innocent protesters. According to Colonel Usman, the agitations for Biafra “portend grave consequences for national security [that] have been averted severally [sic] through the responsiveness of the Nigerian Army and members of the security agencies.”


That response begs the central question: How exactly have Nigerian troops “averted” the “grave consequences” posed to “national security” by men and women who peacefully demand secession? Was it by shooting 150 of the protesters? Or by invading hospitals to seize injured agitators and haul them into detention?


It is up to the military to decode their own language here. The Nigerian Army ought to explain the nature of what its spokesman described as “the responsiveness of the Nigerian Army and members of the security agencies.”


It is immaterial whether one supports or opposes the agitation for Biafra. The Nigerian state’s deployment of excessive force against placard-carrying agitators is a crime, and wholly unwarranted. In the end, that militaristic approach is counter-intuitive and counter-productive. You don’t achieve a nation by militarising a space. A government that shoots disaffected agitators aspires to create a republic of the graveyard. And such a republic — a space inhabited by corpses — is self-contradictory and hollow.


One would demand that President Buhari investigate the gruesome murder of unarmed Biafra agitators as well as other such grave violations, but that’s will-o-the wisp. Amnesty International called it right: “Hardly any allegations of crimes under international law and human rights violations by the Nigerian security forces, and in particular the military, are investigated. If an investigation is carried out, there is no follow-up. Because no one has been seen to be held to account for serious human rights violations, an already pervasive culture of impunity within the military has been further strengthened.”

Lawyers petition US, UN, UK, Germany over IMN’s threat to peace in Nigeria.

A group of legal practitioners in the country under the aegis of Lawyers Initiative For Civil Rights Advancement in Nigeria have petitioned the United States Embassy in Nigeria alerting it of the imminent security threat posed by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

The letter, which was addressed to the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, said the threat posed by the “radical Shiite movement” has several security implications not just for Nigeria, but other West African countries.

The petition was equally copied to the British High Commissioner, German Ambassador and the UN mission in Nigeria.

The letter, which was signed by the LICRAN Director of Research and Advocacy, Unande Tersagh, and made available to journalists, described the IMN as an Iranian-backed rebel group.

Tersagh, who described LICRAN as an umbrella body of pro-democracy lawyers dedicated to the advancement of civil rights, justice, equality and rule of law in Nigeria, said it is within public domain that the Islamic Republic of Iran has been harassing Nigeria using members of the IMN.

He said buoyed by Iran’s backing, IMN members in October and early November unleashed violence across several Nigerian cities in the North under the cover of the Ashura procession.

According to him, this led to several deaths in Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna and Katsina States.

Tersagh said Nigerians were surprised that IMN propaganda machine used the widespread mayhem as an excuse to allege clampdown on Shiism in Nigeria contrary to the fact on ground.

He said it is on record that members of Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps have in previous years been named in illegal shipment of weapons that were deliberately mislabeled as other goods into Nigeria.

He stated further: “There have also been reports that the IMN members visit Iran under the cover of academic scholarships to be trained as terrorists by the same Revolutionary Guards Corps. This will be consistent with recent revelations by Salar Abnoush, Deputy Commander of Iran’s Khatam-al-Anbia Garrison, a branch of the Revolutionary Guards Corps that his country is sending out sleeper cell assets to infiltrate other nations.”

Tersagh urged the ambassador to prevail on the US Government to declare the Islamic Movement in Nigeria as a terror organization bearing in mind that their modus operandi is strikingly similar to that of Boko Haram, Al-Shabab and ISIS.

The group added: “In the light of foregoing, we passionately appeal for peace and justice by calling on your good offices in collaboration with those of other members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council to swiftly lend support to the Nigeria government in her bid to shut the door against all emerging and potential terrorist groups so as to strengthen the fragile peace that we are enjoying at the moment.”

IMN: Understanding Nigerians’ disdain for terrorism. – Ibekwe

These are certainly not the best of times for members of the Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky-led Islamic Movement in Nigeria or the Nigerian Shiites. Their actions in the recent past have provoked very damning consequences for the sect members, much more as Nigerians are convinced of its links to the ISIS of Iran.


In the near 40 years history of its existence in Nigeria, the Shiites have steadily earned for themselves the reputation of violent extremists, destroyers and lawbreakers, whose impunity has extended to frequent violent attacks on security agents. In Shiites, Nigerians see a personification of brutality and the latest discovery of its hidden agenda to introduce another version of terrorism in Nigeria has compelled different segments of the Nigerian society to outrightly denounce and ex-communicate them.


By implication, the entire Nigerian state has risen against the IMN members, as other Muslims and communities do not wish to have anything to do with the Shiites. They are even rejected as neighbors to anyone, a stigma they are battling so hard to conceal.


The Nigerian Shiites have attracted this ignominy based on some of their unacceptable actions and inclination to violence. In December last year, the Shiites attacked the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State. The IMN blocked his way and rejected all entreaties to have the road open for the Army boss to have a thoroughfare. The ensuing violent encounters led to deaths.


Similarly, earlier this month, the Shiites, again, under the leadership of Sheik Sanusi Abdulkadir Koki attacked the Nigerian police in Kano State for daring to stop their annual procession for this year’s annual Arbaeen Trek to Zaria, an event that mourns the martyrdom of Imam Husain (AS). The Police, which had declared the procession illegal, attempted to stop them, but were met with stiff resistance, as the sect members, permanently armed, unleashed violence on the Police, leading to deaths and injuries to officers.


Thus, Nigerians cannot discern why the Shiites in Nigeria worship on streets/roads with long processions, instead of the mosque like other Muslims. And during such offensive processions, the sect members are usually armed to the teeth with dangerous weapons, they deploy to use without provocation. The atrocities of IMN members have been manifold and following the recent calls by Shiek Koki for its members never to obey the laws of the land, has further alienated them from the clan of sane people and the Nigerian masses who have become increasingly repulsive of the Shiites with their violent versions of Islam.


Protests against the Nigerian Shiites have taken place variously in America, United Kingdom, and Malaysia and indeed, in other parts of the world denouncing Shiites whose penchant to violence and its frequent attacks on security agents has assumed a dangerous impunity.


For instance, Nigerians in the United States of America protested against the liberty extended to the Shiites by the FGN and sued for the prosecution of leader of the sect and the members. Operating under the aegis of Movement of the People of Nigeria, Cosmas Collins, the US Coordinator of the group, which staged a protest at United Nations Building and Nigeria House in New York frowned at the non-prosecution of El-Zakzaky.

Collins said: “Failure to prosecute these people, including El-Zakyzaky is making other groups think of coming out because it is now believed that it is fashionable to take on the state without consequences. The government must not also omit to consider bringing charges of subversion against members of the group for inviting Iranian intervention in Nigeria’s internal affairs. As a prelude to this, the government should investigate the finances of the group and its senior members to see if they have been beneficiary of Iranian sponsorship of terrorism.”


Back home in Nigeria, the Shiites are also rejected as no one is willing to associate or transact business with them. Saminaka, the headquarters of Lere in Kaduna State, recently demonstrated this aversion to the Shiites as both Christian and Muslim communities protested against the Shiites’ plan to erect a building in the community.


The Provincial Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Oludare Ojo, led the protests as he wrote to the Christian Association of Nigeria kicking against the location of a Shiites’ site near the church premises.


Ojo said: “They are not comfortable since it is located directly in front of the church.” The pastor feared that with the recent incidents of violence initiated by the group in the country, its proximity to the Church was a threat. While Christians are protesting Muslims too have joined in rejecting IMN sect members.


Muslim clerics in the area equally alerted the Sarkin Saminaka and security agencies of threats by members of the community to forcefully destroy the site of the Shiite building if allowed to be erected.


In Kano state, Shiites protests for the release of El-Zakzaky provoked residents who massively ganged up to chase them away. A coalition of civil society organizations have at different times lashed out at the Shiites, calling for their prosecution over acts of violence and treason.


The rejection of Shiites has become so pronounced that even their spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, recently lamented: “When we were with other Muslims, they said they don’t want us and that is why we decided to build our centre here. The building is just an Islamic centre. We also have an Islamic school there in Saminaka. People who are against us, like the Izaila, those Muslims who go on pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia are the ones against us. We have a Certificate of Occupancy.”


The implication of this widespread rejection of the Shiites in Nigeria means their doctrines are detestable and they are no longer needed in a peaceful country like Nigeria. This has already been expressed in the IMN’s ban by the Kaduna State Government and its replication in Kano and other places in the North.


What their Iranian collaborators intends to achieve through the IMN has been discovered quite early and the Nigerian Shiites are free to relocate to the abodes of their paymasters in Iran. But what has remained certain is that Nigeria would never be anywhere near Syria and Iran where the ISIS have found as a fertile ground to destabilize through their noxious campaigns of religion. Nigerians would not overlook their garments of terrorism.


– Ibekwe, a civil rights activist contributed this piece from 5, New Haven Avenue, Enugu, Enugu State.

Procession: Shiite members must obtain police permit – Ganduje

Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, has said that the members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, must obtain permit and obey police directives before embarking on street procession.

He stated that the Shiite members, who had been having a running battle with security agencies across the country, must recognize the authority of security officials by seeking their permission before holding any gathering.

Scores of Shiite members were gunned down by the police in Kano last week, during a procession, apart from about 300 allegedly killed by soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna State last December.

But Ganduje, who spoke in an interview with journalists on the sideline of the Nigeria Entrepreneurs Award on Friday in Abuja, insisted that the sect members, would not be allowed to break the law and tamper with the rights of other citizens.

He said, ” They (Shiite members) cannot keep breaking the law and tampering with the rights of other citizens.

“As far as they continue breaking the law, the police have to come in. They cannot use their freedom to do whatever they want because they are crossing other people’s human rights.

“As far as we are concerned, they have to recognise the authority of the security agencies, they have to get permission. If they do not get permission, then the police will not allow them to continue the procession that they do.”

Ganduje, who was presented with an award, Abuja, called for the promotion of  Small and Medium Scale Enterprises to enhance economic growth and ensure food sustainability in the country.

The governor said that the SMEs needed more attention than they were currently getting to promote the efforts of the Federal Government to diversify the economy.

Shiites Abandon Borno Protest After Police Threat

A planned protest by Shiites in Borno State was shelved following a threat by the police.

Due to the relatively low popularity of the Shiite IMN in Borno State, the news of their proposed procession came as a surprise to most of the residents in Maiduguri, the state capital.

The Borno State police command later warned the Shiite group to “drop the idea of the planned procession.”

The police commissioner, Damian Chukwu, also said that embarking on the procession was illegal because the Borno State government had issued a statement banning all kinds of procession in the state.

Officials of the Borno State government, who preferred to be anonymous in this report, said they were not aware of the ban on religious processions in the Boko Haram troubled state.

The police chief warned the Shiites to adopt “lawful means of championing their cause”, and not through road processions.

“We just got information that the Shiite group is trying to embark on public procession in Maiduguri and the state government had already issued a statement banning that procession,” he said.

“I want to say that we are in support of the ban because the law banning public procession without permission is still in force.

“We know the group will always want to carry on with the procession without even trying to seek permission. We hereby advise them to please shelve the procession in the interest of peace,” he added.

Mr. Chukwu warned that the police would do everything within its constitutional powers to maintain peace in the state.

On Friday, the atmosphere was somewhat tense as police deployed its officers to all the strategic locations within Maiduguri. Anti-riot vehicles and armoured personnel carriers were moved to locations where it was suspected that the planned Shiite procession would take place.

Heavy security presence was seen at the MaiSaje Mosque, where the police intelligence indicated the IMN might kick start their protest. The same situation was noticed at the Fodiya Centre, near a spot called Yan Nono in Bulumkutu along the Kano-Maiduguri highway.

After the Jumat prayers at the MaiSaje Friday mosque, some group of young men waited to see if the protest by the Shia group would take place.

One of them, who sought anonymity for security reasons, said “we just want to see if truly they would begin the procession; we would have dispersed them by tagging them as Boko Haram members”.

Read More:


Days after the Kaduna clash, Police plot to tackle Shiites in Borno.

The police in Borno State are mobilizing for a planned rally by Shiites, sources have told reporters.

A source said the police received a special intelligence report that the protest would kick-start shortly after the Friday Jumat prayer.

The protest is expected to start at two main mosques – the Mai Saje Mosque, a popular Friday mosque, centrally located in the heart of Maiduguri, and Fodiya Centre, near a spot called Yan Nono in Bulumkutu along the Kano-Maiduguri highway.

“The aim of the protest is to show their anger over the detention of their national leader and the recent clash with the police in Kano,” a police intelligence report reviewed by reporters showed.

It is not clear if the police plan to forcefully stop the protest as was done to similar Shiite marches in Abuja and Kano, but the Borno State Commissioner of Police, Damian Chukwu, according to a source, directed several units including the police mobile force and the counter terrorist unit to deploy their men to various Friday mosques within Maiduguri and other liberated communities across the state for “decisive actions to any untoward development”.

PREMIUM TIMES further learnt that the police is not taking any chance in ensuring that the proposed Shia protest does not escalate the already tense situation in the state. Mr. Chukwu had to cancel the weekly briefing with his officers as the police prepared for the Shiite protest.

Officials at the police headquarters have reported that canisters of tear gas were released at about 10.30 a.m. on Friday to be possibly used against the protesters.

Unlike several states in the northern Nigeria, Shia processions have been very rare in Borno.

The Shiites are demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been held without trial since last December after over 300 of his followers were killed by soldiers. The army accused the Shiites of blocking a major road and plotting to kill the army chief, Tukur Buratai, an allegation the Shiites denied.

Another rally by the Shiites on Monday in Kano led to the death of at least 9 people including a police official as the police tried to stop the protesters.

Local and international rights groups and foreign countries have called on the Nigerian government to exercise caution in dealing with the Shiites.

The U.S. government on Friday issued a statement calling for “greater communication between Shia citizens and government authorities.”

Nigerian Police response to Shiite procession disproportionate – US

The United States has expressed deep concerns over the latest clash between the Police and Shiite members in Kano, describing the security agency’s response to the procession as “disproportionate.”


It therefore called for calm and restraint on all sides, a reduction of tension and greater communication between Shiite members and government authorities.


A statement from the US embassy’s Information Office on Friday in Abuja said the Shi’ite group, like other religious communities, had the right to assemble, peacefully express their religious beliefs, and mark their celebrations.


The US admonished the Federal Government to protect and defend these rights


It said, “The US is deeply concerned by the deaths of dozens of Nigerians during clashes between individuals participating in a Shia procession and the Nigerian Police Force in Kano State on November 14.


“While the matter is still under investigation, we are troubled by the apparent disproportionate response by the police.”


The US also called on members of the IMN and all citizens to respect the rule of law and cooperate with the police in their attempt to maintain public order.


It urged the government to ensure accountability for the deaths of more than 300 IMN members during December 15, 2015 clashes between the group and security forces in Zaria, Kaduna State.


“We also call on the Nigerian government to conduct a transparent investigation of the latest incidents and bring to account anyone responsible for violating the law,” the statement added.

US expresses concern over the killing of Shi’ite Muslims.

The United States, U.S, has expressed deep concern over reports of the deaths of dozens of Nigerians involved in clashes between individuals participating in a Shia procession and the police in Kano State on Monday, calling on the Nigerian government to protect and defend the rights of Shi’ites.

The U.S government, in a statement from its Embassy in Abuja on Friday, acknowledged that the matter was still being investigated, but stressed that it was, “troubled by the apparent disproportionate response by the police,” during the clash.

It said, “This is the latest in a series of violent incidents between security forces and members of the Shia Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), some of which have resulted in deaths, destruction of property, and the arbitrary detention of IMN members.

“The United States calls for calm and restraint on all sides, a reduction of tensions, and greater communication between Shia citizens and government authorities.”

While noting that the Shi’ites, like other religious communities, have the right to assemble, peacefully express their religious beliefs, and mark their celebrations, the U.S government said it was also incumbent on members of the religious sect and all Nigerians to respect the rule of law and cooperate with the police as they attempt to maintain public order.

“We continue to urge the government to ensure accountability for the deaths of more than 300 IMN members during December 15, 2015 clashes between the IMN and security forces in Zaria, Kaduna State.

“We also call on the Nigerian government to conduct a transparent investigation of the latest incidents and bring to account anyone responsible for violating the law,” the statement read.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Idris Ibrahim, while reacting to the incident, explained that the police opened fire on the Shiite members in self defence, adding that members of the sect were “armed to teeth.”

Fayose urges ICC, Amnesty International to investigate Shi’ites killings.

Governor of Ekiti Ayodele Fayose, says the killing of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) should be investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Amnesty International (AI), Daily Trust reports.


Fayose who spoke on Thursday through his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, said, “The murder of over 300 Nigerians, who are members of the IMN in one day and their burial in mass graves, as well as continuous murder of the Shi’ite sect should attract the attention of the ICC.”


He queried the use of firearms by the police during the recent clash in Kano, saying, “Under international human rights law governing the use of firearms during policing operations, the intentional use of lethal force is only permitted when strictly unavoidable, to protect life.”


Fayose said the detention of Ibrahim Zakzaky, leader of the sect since last December as unacceptable.


“In a month time, it will be exactly one year since Ibrahim Zakzaky was arrested and detained without trial. This is unacceptable in a democratic society where there should be strict adherence to the rule of law.”


He added, “Democracy guarantees freedom of religion, movement, association, opinions and thoughts. It is, however, worrisome that inspite of these inalienable rights, members of the Shi’ite Muslim sect are still being persecuted and alienated.


“Therefore, the ICC, Amnesty International and other relevant international organisations must intervene in the killings of the Shi’ite Muslim group with the aim of bringing those found culpable to justice, thereby putting a permanent stop to the inhuman acts,” the governor said.

Shi’ites/Police Clash: Tears as 8-month-old killed by stray bullet is buried.

An eight-month-old girl, Zainab, who was reportedly shot dead on Monday during the clash between the Nigeria Police Force, NPF and members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, in Kano State, has been laid to rest.


Zainab, who was strapped on her mother’s back during the clash, was killed by a stray bullet.


She was said to have died instantly.


Photos of her heartbreaking funeral hit the social media on Wednesday with some calling on the government to fight for her justice.


Recall that about 15 Shiite members and one policeman reportedly lost their lives, while scores were injured during the clash.


The members, under the leadership of incarcerated Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky were trekking for the annual Arbaeen Symbolic Trekking from Kano to Zaria in Kaduna state.


See photos below…





Why Police Opened Fire On Shiites- IG

The Inspector-General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, has explained why his officers opened fire on members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria during a clash in Kano on Monday.

The IGP said his officers did so because members of the movement, also known as Shiites, were armed to the teeth, killing policemen.

The police chief was speaking to State House journalists in Tuesday shortly after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo launched the 2017 Armed Forces Remembrance Emblem and Appeal Fund.

The IGP was responding to a question on a popular belief that in quelling riot, Nigerians should not be killed unnecessarily.

He stated: “I agree with what you said. But when you have Nigerians armed to the teeth, killing police officers, I don’t think it happens anywhere. I think as Nigerians, we have to appreciate, when you appreciate a dangerous situation, and to be sympathetic with the police that are being killed by some of these miscreants.”

Ibrahim said police officers have the responsibility of ensuring law and order as well as maintaining sanity in areas where people “take over the whole country.”

He said early Monday morning, the Force got wind of the plan by Shiite members to block the Kano-Zaria Road and deployed its officers to ensure free movement of ordinary Nigerians.

“Obviously, from time to time, we have been experiencing upheavals from this set of people. As police officers, we have responsibility to ensure there is law and order, and when you have people taking over the whole country, dominating streets and buildings, we have to come in to maintain sanity in those areas.

“As of early yesterday (Monday), we got information that they were trying to block the Kano-Zaria Road. They later assembled in large numbers and our officers were deployed to the place to ensure freedom of movement of ordinary Nigerians. They attacked our officers, killed one of our officers, one has sustained an arrow wound on his head and obviously in such a situation, police have the responsibility to ensure free movement of people on the road. And that was what our officers did,” he said.

The IGP said he agreed with those who said the Shiites, if not checked, could degenerate into insurgents like Boko Haram.

“Whether now or whenever, as police officers, we have a responsiblity to ensure there is law and order in any part of this country and to ensure that no organisations or individuals constitute themselves into a government, block passages and buildings,” he stated.

On the noting that there is freedom of movement in this country, Ibrahim maintained: “What happens is that there is nothing like freedom there. When you worship, you go to mosques or churches. Blocking highways and passages doesn’t constitute part of worship

“My message to Nigerians is that all of us should be our brother’s keepers.  We should appreciate the feeling of others that where your right ends, another person’s right begins. Every Nigerian has a right that must be protected. We should ensure that we protect the rights of every individual: right of freedom, right of association and right of movement.”

Credit: dailytrust

KANO: 8 Shiites, 1 Policeman Die in Today’s Clash

Today’s clash between members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and the Police in Kano left eight members of the sect and one police dead.


The Commissioner of Police in the state, Rabiu Yusuf, disclosed this while briefing newsmen in Kano on Monday.


Yusuf said four policemen and many members of the Shi’ites were injured during the clash which occurred along Kano-Zaria road in the city.


He said, “During the clash, we were able to arrest many members of the IMN and we are going to conduct an investigation into the incident.


“Members of the movement snatched an AK 47 riffle from our men, but we were able to recover it.”


The spokesperson of the sect in Kano, Malam Ali Kakaki, said members of the group were on a protest demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky when policemen began shooting.


He said, “As our members walked toward the Amana City close to Tamburawa Area, some policemen began to shoot in all directions.


“The casualties on our side involved women and children.”

Update On Nigeria Police, Shiites Clash In Kano

The Police have confirmed the death of eight Shiites members and a police sergeant in Monday’s violent clash between the law enforcement agents and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in Kano.

The clash occurred during a procession of the Shiites in the city.

The state Police Commissioner, Rabiu Yusuf, said the Shiites, who were allegedly in possession of dangerous weapons, were the aggressors in the clash.

He said they snatched an Ak47 gun from an officer and used it to kill the sergeant.

Mr. Yusuf said the incident started at about 8:00 a.m. when police officers were invited to a scene of mayhem at Kwanar Dawaki Zaria allegedly caused by the Shiites who, he said, blocked the road and were attacking motorists and vandalizing properties.

The commissioner said the law enforcement agents tried to stop the carnage with tear gas but were repelled by the Shiites with arrows and other dangerous weapons.

Mr. Yusuf said the officers had to resort to “minimal power, resulting in eight confirmed dead by the doctors”.

He said scores of injured Shiites members were receiving treatment at various hospitals.

Read More:


One dead, scores injured as police fire teargas on Shiites members in Kano.

Reports reaching our office, has it that one person has been killed and scores injured as operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, NPF, on Monday attacked members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN.


The members, under the guidance of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky were trekking for the annual Arbaeen Symbolic Trekking from Kano to Zaria in Kaduna state.

We gathered that the police operatives mounted a road block and fired teargas on the peaceful trekkers.


The Kano Police spokespersons, DSP Musa Magaji, could not be reached for comments as at press time.


More to follow…

“Shiites are welcome to relocate to Eastern Nigeria.” – IPOB

The Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) is offering the Shiites, an Islamic religious sect, the opportunity to relocate the Biafra land when finally, the movement’s dream country comes to fruition.  This hand of friendship was extended to the Shiites by IPOB’s spokespersons Emma Nmezu and Clifford Chukwuemeka Iroanya in a statement the group released on Saturday.

The statement centered majorly on Biafra’s constitution which the group said would emanate from the collective consent and participation of the people. The statement contrasted what would be the Biafran constitution with the current Nigerian constitution which it said was singlehandedly written by former Head of State General Abdulsalami Abubakar.

The statement read; “The Constitution of Biafra shall be a collective effort of Biafran citizens. Every Biafran will participate in the formulation and ratification of the constitution. No single individual will arrogate the powers to himself/herself to write the nation’s constitution.

“This was the case in Nigeria where General Abdulsalami Abubakar singlehandedly wrote the constitution and falsely stated in the introduction that We the people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria…Do hereby make, enact and give to ourselves the following Constitution…

“Nothing can be farther from the truth because the people of Nigeria never came together to discuss, enact and give themselves the constitution. Technically, a constitution is made by the citizens of a nation and not the people; because the people may or may not be the citizens of that nation.

“The blessed nation of Biafra shall never be a member of any Islamic body. Biafra shall maintain its secularity both in principles and in practice unlike the British-created country called Nigeria that professes secularity in principle but a ranking member of OIC in practice.

“Also, citizens will not be forced to practice a particular religion. There will be freedom of worship for adherents of all faiths without molestation. If the persecuted Shiite sect members wish to relocate to Biafraland, we would gladly accommodate them along with other tormented Christians in the North (Arewa land)”

‘Why we banned Shiites in Plateau’ – Governor Lalong.

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State has explained that security considerations were “purely responsible for the ban on the activities of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in the state.’’


“Plateau State has laws regulating the practice of religions; we have a duty to ensure that the practice of religion does not constitute a security risk to anyone,” Lalong said in Jos on Monday.


The governor, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Dan Manjang, was reacting to allegations by the IMN that he (Lalong) was merely copying what his Kaduna counterpart, Ahmed el-Rufai, did a week earlier.


Lalong had banned the group last week following a series of protests that turned violent and led to the deaths of some of the sect members after a clash with security personnel.

Sheik Zakzaky: The Face of Iran’s dangerous plan in Africa.

Just as Nigeria is winning the battle against the ISIS-aligned Boko Haram terrorist organization, it faces an even greater threat from Iran.

The Iranian-financed and trained Shiite movement, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), has pledged a “tragedy of monumental proportions” if the fanatic group’s jailed leader, Sheikh Zakzaky, continues to remain in custody.

This week, the radical Shiite movement, estimated at over four million, intends to descend on Abuja to instigate a Khomeinist uprising. It claims it will be peaceful, but the Iranian-backed group resorts to violent confrontation with non-Shiite residents to assert control over the streets. Many fear bloody chaos as Shiite radicals pledge to “storm” the capital.

Imposing ‘Khomeinism’ on Nigeria

Zakzaky has been held in custody since December 2015 following clashes between the army and IMN’s armed Shiite thugs, who blocked and attacked a convoy carrying an army chief. Sunnis living in IMN’s stronghold areas accuse the group of running a parallel government that uses extortion and terror.

A judicial commission of inquiry set up by the Kaduna state government to investigate the clash blamed Zakzaky for the incident which led to the loss of 348 Shiite lives. The inquiry reported that “The IMN is notorious for engaging in hate and dangerous speech that provoke other Muslims … Members of the IMN owe absolute loyalty to Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

He therefore bears responsibility for all acts of lawlessness committed by the organization and should therefore be held responsible, fully investigated and prosecuted.”

Nigerian Shiite Muslims take to the street to protest and demanded the release of Shiite leader Ibraheem Zakzaky in Cikatsere, Nigeria. (AP)

But the incident is minor compared to the capabilities of the four million-strong Shiite extremist group, which plans to emulate the Islamic revolution in Iran. Iran co-opted Zakzaky – an Islamist under the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood – soon after the 1979 Revolution and he has formed a key part of the regime’s strategy to identify recruits and create and expand militant cells.

Iran’s soft power in Africa

The leverage Iran has gained within Nigeria is the result of over three decades of the Islamic Republic’s use of soft power in Africa.

Iran needs diplomatic allies as a counter-weight to Western and Arab states. With 54 states, the continent also carries with it UN votes that can be wooed with sufficient encouragement. Africa accounts for half the members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and has influence within the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Board of Governors, both of which are highly important in Iran’s strategic considerations.

Some of Iran’s long-term partnerships in Africa, whether with local radical groups or governments such as Sudan, specifically aim at exporting the Islamic Revolution by exploiting the potential in Muslim countries and communities on the continent.

Support for insurgent or militant groups is driven by Article 154 of the Iranian constitution which states that the government will support “the just struggles of the mustad’afun (oppressed) against the mustakbirun (oppressors) in every corner of the globe.” The notion of “oppression” is defined according to the strategic interests of the Iranian government, which notoriously executes political dissidents for “waging war on Allah”.

By building a bridgehead into Nigerian society, Iran seeks to attack social pressure points in order to weaken the regional role of sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest and most populous economy. Nigeria’s position as a major crude oil supplier, particularly to Canada and Europe, and the importance of its sea ports also give it a pivotal role in the global economy. By creating chaos in Nigeria, Tehran can target Western economic interests.

Iran also seeks to undermine the power of President Muhammadu Buhari, under whom Nigeria has formed closer relations with Saudi Arabia. Nigeria joined the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT), formed in December 2015, and provides pan-Islamic unity behind Saudi efforts to quash the Iranian-backed Houthi insurgency in Yemen. It was at this time that IMN launched its road blockades in Kaduna state and attacked the army chief, putting in motion the campaign for the planned uprising in Abuja.

Arming Nigerian Shiites

With the resources of a government behind it, the IMN would not require clandestine involvement in the kinds of criminality associated with terrorism and insurgency. As such, much of its activities remain under the radar of the civilian police. Iran is able to export large amounts of weapons via its own regional trade networks and can facilitate financing through diplomatic channels and using its banking network as well as the illicit trade in diamonds and gold and exploiting poor levels of governance and corruption.

Iran is keen to militarize its Nigerian proxy. Abbas Araghchi, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, insisted during the P5+1 negotiations that Iran should be able to purchase and ship military hardware at any time and from any place. Araghchi vowed: “Whenever we consider it necessary for our own security, [or] to help our allies … we will provide weapons. … We don’t feel shy. We will provide weapons to whomever and whenever we consider appropriate. And we will buy weapons from wherever we can.”

Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), a Shiite group, praying at a mass grave in the outskirts of northern Nigerian city of Kaduna. (AFP)

Iran has already established terrorist operations in Nigeria in association with local Shiite radicals, overseen by the Hezbollah network in the region’s influential Lebanese community as well as Qods Force commanders in the Iranian Embassy in Abuja. Nigeria has tolerated the presence of Hezbollah operatives, which has given Iran the opportunity to use the country for illicit arms shipments, espionage and the preparation of terrorist attacks.

In 2013, the Nigerian authorities arrested a Hezbollah cell that had been storing an arms cache in a residence owned by the Lebanese consul to Sierra Leone. Although the cell had planned to attack Western targets, a judge declared that Hezbollah was not recognized as a terrorist organization and charges of terrorism were dropped.

In the same year, Nigerian Shiite preacher Abdullahi Berende and his accomplice Shaeed Adewumi were charged with membership of a “high profile terrorist network” that is planning possible attacks on foreign targets on behalf of the Iranian government. The men were accused of travelling to Tehran and Dubai to receive cash and had been spying on foreign cultural and commercial interests.

The Iranian government has also conducted arms smuggling operations through Nigeria using the CMA CCG shipping company, owned by the French Lebanese shipping magnate Jacques Saadé. In 2010, the company breached UN sanctions by shipping 13 containers of illegal Iranian weaponry, including 107 mm artillery rockets (Katyushas), explosives and rifle ammunition, into Lagos’ Apapa Port.

The MV Everest originally picked up the containers from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Two Nigeria-based members of the Qods Force, an elite unit of the IRGC, were implicated in the arms shipment and fled the country. One was Qods Force commander for operations in Africa Ali Akbar Tabatabaei, who operated under diplomatic immunity and was reassigned to Venezuela to oversee the unit’s Latin American operations. It is inconceivable that the Iranian arms smuggling and espionage network has no relationship with the IMN.

Waging instability for Islamic Revolution

While the IMN is a violent organization, it has so far avoided overt terrorist or guerrilla tactics to advance its aims. This is a strategic rather than an ideological position. Zakzaky has made clear his intent to lead an Islamic revolution and the militaristic nature of the IMN’s hierarchical structure with strong loyalty towards its leader means it is capable and willing to wage a guerrilla war when required.

With its uniformed and regimented paramilitary cadre, IMN could unleash Nigeria’s greatest existential threat since the Biafra War in the 1960s. A further knock to the federal government’s hold in the Muslim north risks upsetting the fragile peace of Nigeria’s nascent democracy, which is faced with deadly tribal rivalries in the middle belt and resurgent militancy in the overwhelmingly Christian oil-rich Delta region.

Prompted by Iran, a Shiite uprising could potentially destabilize the north of the country in a bloody sectarian clashes, drawing troops away from battle against Boko Haram and leading to a domino effect of instability across Africa’s most populous country.
Daniel Brett is a British journalist specializing in the politics and economics of Africa and the Middle East. His LinkedIn profile is: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/dbrett

2 Shi’ia members ‘slaughtered’ in Kaduna, 9 in Katsina during Ashura procession

Two people were slaughtered in kaduna state while another nine were killed in Katsina as security agencies prevented Shi’ites from performing the Ashura festival, the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) has said.

According to the commission, security agencies are hellbent on preventing members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) from taking part in annual processions.

The processions mark the martyrdom of a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad.

In Kaduna, the IHRC late on Tuesday said a horde of soldiers surrounded the Markaz mosque filled with worshipers.

It said it was in possession of credible evidence that the worshipers were “trapped” inside the mosque, and called on the Nigerian authorities to withdraw the soldiers and “allow the worshippers to continue to exercise their constitutional right to freedom of assembly and worship”.

“The worshippers have gathered to commemorate historical events associated with the Islamic month of Muharram that are particularly significant in the Shia calendar”, the advocacy organisation said.

“Shortly before the the Kaduna Markaz mosque on Zango Road was encircled armoured military vehicles carrying heavily armed soldiers and also an ambulance were among a convoy of 18 military vehicles seen nearby.”

Vehicles of security agencies around the Muslim centre | Photo: Mansur Nasir

Vehicles of security agencies around the Muslim center | Photo: Mansur Nasir

Nasir Mansur, an eyewitness at the scene of the Kaduna incident, revealed to TheCable that in spite of the tension generated by the activities of the security agencies, Monday’s event took place and Shia members dispersed.

According to Mansur, the siege laid on the Markaz mosque and surroundings continued on Wednesday, which ultimately led to the burning of the building.

“Today being the tenth day of Muharram, we usually have the annual Ashura procession, which initially took place peacefully,” he said.

The Kaduna Markaz mosque set ablaze | Photo: Mansur Nasir

The Kaduna Markaz mosque set ablaze | Photo: Mansur Nasir

“The attacks started when the security besieged the IMN centre shooting teargas after which they invited hoodlums who burned down the Muslim centre in Tudun Wada.”

Mansur said the security operatives were a combination of soldiers, police and civil defence while claiming that the agencies enlisted the help of thugs to carry out attacks on Shia members.

“Two people were killed by hoodlums invited by police who have also ordered them to kill any IMN member at sight. They were slaughtered in the presence of police. There are several other people injured.

“Yesterday, we were at the centre at Zango road in the afternoon for the usual mourning event. The joint military and police had earlier besieged the area since noon, taking over the Fudiyya primary school which was located about 100 meters away from the centre.

Fudiyya primary school - owned by IMN - being demolished | Photo: Mansur Nasir

Fudiyya primary school – owned by IMN – being demolished | Photo: Mansur Nasir

The IHRC also reported fatalities from other northern states where the Ashura processions are taking place.

“At least nine people are reported killed after security forces opened fire with live rounds on followers of IMNthe Islamic Movement of Nigeria taking part in a procession in Funtua in Katsina state.

The UK-based organisation said a similar occurrence is taking place in Jos, Plateau state.

“Troops are currently attacking the IMN centre with tear gas and live rounds in the city of Jos in Plateau state, inside which several people including a leader of the IMN, Sheikh Adamu Tsohos, are trapped.

“Sheikh Adamu Tsohos’s house in Jos was also reportedly under attack. Earlier people were stopped and arrested or turned back as they made their way into Jos to participate in the religious procession”, said IHRC.

Meanwhile, Sani Usman, army spokesperson, promised to find out the true state of things.

“I have no idea about that but I will find out and get back to you. This is not the first time we have been victims of campaigns of calumny,” he said when TheCable contacted him on Tuesday night.

Shiites to storm Abuja over detention of El-Zakzaky

Group under the aegis of Save Zakzaky Life group has said that following the expiration of a two week ultimatum given to the federal government to release its leader, it will now storm the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja and stage a peaceful protest to demand the immediate release of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

Recall that the group had issued a two week ultimatum followed by a one week ultimatum for the federal government to release its leader or they will storm Abuja in peaceful protest.

According to a statement released by the national coordinator of the group, Bashir Marafa, yesterday, the group said, “We would now storm Abuja in millions, for a peaceful and well organised protest and sit around.”

The statement reads in part, “Two weeks back, we had given an ultimatum to the Nigerian government, under the leadership of Muhammadu Buhari, to release our leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, who has been in detention since nine months back, with his wife Zeenatu, while his children as well as over thousands of his armless followers were massacred by the Nigerian army unjustly.”

Additionally, over 200 of his followers are still in detention in Kaduna prison.

“We can recall, immediately after the massacre, and the sporadic shooting against Sheikh Zakzaky and his arrest, he has been in DSS detention until now, several calls were made to the Nigerian government by well meaning individuals, within and outside Nigeria, to release him, since the DSS testified that he is not guilty whatsoever. According to them, they are only given him protection against some people attempting to harm him.

“As we always enquire: why has the Nigerian government failed to release Zakzaky, since it testified through its agent DSS that he is not guilty? Why has this injustice persist against him, despite the fact that, he is desperately in need of absolute and complete special medical care? Why is the Buhari “Junta” government interested in the continued detention of an illustrious Nigerian citizen, peace lover, with sense of humanity and foresight? Why is Zakzaky being humiliated in such a way that his children were shot dead at his presence?

“Indeed, it seems the massacre of Zakzaky’s followers, killing of his six children within one year by the Nigerian army, and the destruction of his Hussainiyya, his house and many more, are calculated and well planned by the Nigerian government with zeal to fulfil the mission it co-sponsored against him.

“Even though, Sheihk Zakzaky’s life group of Nigeria were pessimistic from the beginning of the ultimatum given to the Buhari government that the allies within the government would never restore to justice, yet we thought Buhari in person, as the Nigeria’s master propagandist will think twice, and release him unconditionally since he is not guilty, so that he will rush for an immediate perfect medical attention. Unfortunately as the ultimatum expires today, (Monday, 3th October), there is no sign of his release.

“At this point, Shaik Zakzaky’s life group would find a suitable time, to storm Abuja in millions, with our children, in what we call: A peaceful and well organized protest and ‘sit around’, we will never leave the city until our leader is released. Moreover, we are extending invitation to local and international human right organizations, human rights activists, media, as well as all other individuals with sense of humanity and love to witness and observe a peaceful move, to save the life of our oppressed leader.

“Let us at this juncture make it clearer that; Sheikh Zakzaky, for almost 40 years of his struggle to salvage humanity, has never taught violence. He is a peace lover. He thought peace, love of humanity and gave helping hands to the communities among others.

“So, as millions of his followers are coming into Abuja, we are not violent people, we are armless, our protest and ‘sit around’ is peaceful. We are Nigerians, and we have the right to show our grievances and concerns in peaceful manners.

“The police, soldiers and all other security agencies should take note. They should never harass, or intimidate us. Our slogan is free Zakzaky, our mission in Abuja is to seek the release of our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky. Nothing, but that!”

Shi’ites Threaten To Occupy Abuja If Zakzaky Is Not Released In Two Weeks

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) under the umbrella of the ‘Save Zakzaky’s Life Group’ has threatened to occupy Abuja in thousands if their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky is not released.

The group in a statement signed by its Coordinator, Malam Bashir Mafara also accused the Buhari-led government of conspiring with foreign and international allies to wipe out the movement.

The group further observed that there is a deliberate and calculated delay by Nigerian Government to release Zakzaky, who has been in detention without trial since December 2015, after the clash between the Nigerian Army and the IMN.

He added, “at this point, SHAIK ZAKZAKY’S LIFE GROUP OF NIGERIA, after a carefully and sensitive analysis,  has realised that,  Buhari’s government is deliberately frustrating the life of Shaik Zakzaky in custody, with its worrisome hidden agenda; if not,  why not release him to go for a proper medical examination; why not take him to the court of law; why are you violating the rule of law?”

The group called on President Muhammad Buhari’s government to release Zakzaky unconditionally within two weeks from today, adding that, “at the expiration of the deadline and without the release of Zakzaky, members of the movement including men, women and children, would storm Abuja,  Nigeria’s capital,  for a peaceful and well organized “SIT AROUND”, and we would not leave until our leader, Zakzaky is unconditionally released.”

Credit: dailytrust

Shiites Warn Against Consequences Of El-Zakzaky’s Detention

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiites has warned of the consequences of the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.


El-Zakzaky and his wife have been in detention since December last year following a clash between the Shiites and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.


The judicial commission of inquiry set up by the Kaduna State Government to investigate the clash had in its report blamed El-Zakzaky for the incident which led to many loss of lives and recommended that he be investigated and prosecuted.


The Islamic group in a statement yesterday in Kaduna, demanded the unconditional release of El-Zakzaky, warning that it would be a tragedy of monumental proportion if the Islamic leader who is said to have sustained an eye injury goes blind.


We demand that our leader and the wife must be released unconditionally without delay. It will be a tragedy of monumental proportions should our leader go blind in detention or suffer further physical disability due to him being denied access to adequate medical attention,” the statement declared.


The statement signed by Ibrahim Musa, the President of the Media Forum of the IMN also alleged that those that are keeping El-Zakzaky in detention were doing so to humiliate him and make sure that he goes completely blind and render him powerless before releasing him.


The IMN said: “We understand those that sanctioned his detention and those detaining him want to humiliate him and make sure that he goes completely blind before he is eventually released thereby rendering him powerless the moment he is released from unconstitutional and illegal detention. The health of our leader and the wife continues to deteriorate on a daily basis and those holding him in custody are playing politics with his detention and that of his wife. We urge the Nigerian people and the international community to intervene in this crude violation of the fundamental rights of our leader. The Nigerian constitution and laws do not sanction detention without trial.


We still insist that our leader should be taken to court if those holding him believe that he has committed any offence known to the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, otherwise he must be released forthwith.


Musa said, as a peaceful organisation the IMN has been demanding for the release of Zakzaky and his wife from detention through all known peaceful and legitimate means, but rather than release them, “the Department of State Services (DSS) claimed that our leader was being held in protective custody.”


The IMN also disowned two legal practitioners, one Bello Ibrahim and Sadau Garba who claimed to be solicitors to the Movement and El-Zakzaky, and the DSS, purportedly connived with them and wrote a letter requesting El-Zakzaky release for treatment abroad.


In the said letter, the two solicitors, acting at the behest of the DSS, claimed that the agency saved the life of our revered leader by giving him what they called the best medical care.


They also claimed that our revered leader is appreciative of his treatment in detention and on the basis of that called on the DSS to allow the family take him out of the country for further medical care.


The IMN wants to make it clear that the said Sadau Garba and one Bello Ibrahim are not solicitors to the IMN and are not solicitors to our revered leader.


The IMN and our revered leader never briefed them in relation to any issue involving the movement and our revered leader never briefed them in relation to his detention, the detention of his wife, the trial of over 250 of his followers and the killing of his sons and over 1,000 of his followers,” the statement said.

Shiites Warn Of Dire Consequences Of Continuous Detention Of El-Zakzaky

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria ( IMN), also known as Shiites, has warned of the consequences of the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

El-Zakzaky and his wife have been in detention since December last year following a clash between the Shiites and the Nigerian army in Zaria, Kaduna state.

The judicial commission of inquiry set up by the Kaduna state government to investigate the clash had in its report blamed Zakzaky for the incident which led to the loss of many lives and recommended that he be investigated and prosecuted.

The Islamic group in a statement on Wednesday in Kaduna, demanded for the unconditional release of Zakzaky, warning that it will be a tragedy of monumental proportion if the Islamic leader who is said to have sustained eye injury goes blind.

“We demand that our Leader and the wife must be released unconditionally without delay. It will be a tragedy of monumental proportions should our leader go blind in detention or suffer further physical disability due to him being denied access to adequate medical attention” the statement declared.

The statement signed by Ibrahim Musa, the President of the Media Forum of the IMN also alleged that those that are keeping Zakzaky in detention were doing so to humiliate him and make sure that he goes completely blind and render him powerless before releasing him.

The IMN said “We understand those that sanctioned his detention and those detaining him want to humiliate him and make sure that he goes completely blind before he is eventually released thereby rendering him powerless the moment he is released from unconstitutional and illegal detention.

“The health of our leader and the wife continues to deteriorate on a daily basis and those holding him in custody are playing politics with his detention and that of his wife.

“We urge the Nigerian people and the international community to intervene in this crude violation of the fundamental rights of our leader. The Nigerian constitution and laws do not sanction detention without trial.

“We still insist that our leader should be taken to court if those holding him believe that he has committed any offence known to the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, otherwise he must be released forthwith”.

Musa said, as a peaceful organization the IMN has been demanding for the release of Zakzaky and his wife from detention through all known peaceful and legitimate means, but rather than release them , “the Department of State Services (DSS) claimed that the our leader was being held in protective custody”.

Read More: ThisdayLive

Shi’ites Pose Greater Danger than Boko Haram– Sharia Council Scribe

The Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN), Mallam Nafiu Baba Ahmed, has said that members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiites, pose greater danger to Nigeria than the Boko Haram terrorists.

He stated this while testifying before the judicial commission of inquiry set up by the Kaduna state government to investigate the December 12-14, 2015, clashes between the Nigerian Army and the Shi’ites in Zaria.

He said failure of the government to deal decisively with the alleged excesses of the Shi’ites may be catastrophic for the country.

Ahmed also revealed that the late leader of Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf, had some relationship with the Shi’ites prior to forming his own group.

He added that both Mohammed and the Shi’ite leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky had similar attitudes in holding onto their respective doctrines which, according to him, are contrary to Islamic principles.

He alleged that the the Shi’ites had recently started adopting Boko Haram strategy of intimidation and elimination of Ulamas who were opposed to their doctrines, saying that many have refrained from testifying before the commission for fear of the unknown.

Ahmed who lamented the initial government handling of Boko Haram noted that small fires become huge conflagrations if not tackled in an effective and timely manner, urging the government to learn from its experience with Boko Haram by dealing decisively with the Shi’ites.

“Failure to act will spell catastrophe for Nigeria,” he added.
The SCSN scribe also emphasised the need for the society to be involved in checkmating the Shi’ites, pointing out that government decisions are usually dictated by “political expediency” which may not always reflect the best interest of the people.

Credit: Thisday

Shiites Allege Plan By Military To Clamp Down On Members

Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiites, yesterday accused the military of making attempts to clamp down on the group in Katsina State.

The group said that: “Reports from Katsina today (Wednesday) indicated that the Nigerian Army is amassing troops in an attempt to clampdown on the Islamic Movement in the town.”

A statement by the spokesman of the group, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, said that: “Early in the morning armed troops were seen surrounding the main Juma’at mosque, where a peaceful maulud procession of the daughter of the prophet, Nana Fatima (AS) was scheduled to take off.

“Seeing this and due to the peaceful disposition of the Islamic Movement, the venue of this yearly event was changed to another neighbourhood of the town, and the procession went round some major streets of the town and ended without any incident.”

He added that: “However, to our consternation, reinforcement was brought from neighbouring formations of the army, and roadblocks were mounted on almost all the major roads leading to Katsina city.”

Musa continued: “We have been reliably informed that the army is set to replicate the wanton destruction of lives and property it carried out in Zaria last December. The army it seems has vowed to attack the Markaz Islamic Centre in the town any moment from now, possibly kill all its occupants and raze it to the ground, just as it did to Husainiyya Islamic centre in Zaria.“

Credit: guardian

Shiites Lament Inability To Access El-Zakzaky

Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, popularly known as Shiites, have raised alarm that they are being frustrated by the DSS and Police to have access to their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

This they said has prevented them from submitting their memorandum to the Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna State government to investigate the bloody clash between them and the Nigerian Army in Zaria on December 12, 2015.

At the resumed sitting of the commission on Monday, counsel to the movement, Festus Okoye, told the commission that all efforts by the Shiites’ legal team or its members to have access to El-Zakzaky were unsuccessful in spite of several meetings they had with the DSS and Police authorities in Abuja.

He attributed the delay by the group to submit its memorandum to the commission to inability of the members to meet with their leader who is believed to be in custody of the Department of State Security (DSS) in the Federal Capital Territory.

On his part, counsel to the Commission, Yusuf Ali (SAN), ?asked the commission to order the Attorney General of Kaduna State and the Attorney General of the Federation to liaise with him to see how they can have access to El-Zakzaky and get briefings from him.

Credit: ChannelsTv

El-Zakzaky Flown To France For Treatment, Back To Abuja

The embattled leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El Zakzaky, was flown out of Nigeria for treatment of gun shot injuries he suffered during the encounter between his supporters and members of the Nigerian Army last year.

It will be recalled that during the bloody encounter between the Shiites and the Nigerian Army, several members of the sect were killed, while many others sustained various degrees of injuries with some still on admission at Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika near Zaria.



The fracas occurred when members of the sect allegedly blocked the Zaria-Sokoto road and prevented the convoy of the Chief of Army staff from passing through, despite several entreaties.



Sheikh El-Zakzaky allegedly sustained several gun shot wounds, with some reports claiming that one of his eyes was affected during the encounter.



Since the clash between the sect and the military, his whereabouts have been shrouded in secrecy until it was revealed that he was moved from Kaduna to a safe house in Abuja belonging to one of the security services.



Several security sources who are knowledgeable in the matter, however, revealed to Vanguard yesterday that due to the seriousness of the injuries the Shiite leader sustained, he was secretly flown to France by the Nigerian government some weeks ago for treatment before being returned to the country two weeks ago.



One of the sources said: “It is true that the federal government flew him out of the country for treatment. He was stabilized before he was brought back to Nigeria. The government did not want to take chances by keeping him in the country. We did not want a repeat of the incidenct with the late leader of the Boko Haram movement whose death in custody exacerbated the crisis in the North East.”



Another source explained that the decision to fly El Zakzaky out of the country followed intervention by highly placed Nigerians, including the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, and the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, who warned that allowing the Shiite leader to die in custody would have grave implications for the security of the country.



Spokesman of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim Musa, confirmed to Vanguard that members of the NSCIA committee confirmed to the IMN that their leader was alive, after being treated for gun shot injuries in France and was recuperating in Abuja.

Panel Begins Hearing On Army, Shi’ites Clash

A five-man panel set up by the National Human Rights ?Commission will today begin hearing on the clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the Shiite sect in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, ?arrived the headquarters of the commission in Abuja where he is expected to make presentation during the hearing at 11.31am.
Earlier, some members of the Shi’ite group had trooped to the commission on the Aguiyi Ironsi Road in Maitama, Abuja to demand the release of their leader, who is currently held in custody since the clash occurred on December 13, 2015.
The panel has as its chairman, Mr. Tony Ojukwu, who is a lawyer and director, monitoring department of the commission.
Other members are Messrs A. A Yakubu, Halilu Adamu, Babangida Labaran and Kabiru Elayo.
The panel whose task will cover six terms of reference was given two months to complete its assignments and submit its report.
While inaugurating the panel on December 21, 2015, Prof. Bem Angwe, the executive secretary of the National Human Rights Commission said the move was necessitated by the petition submitted to the commission by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai; his convoy and members of the Shiite sect in Zaria on December 13, 2015.
Though the Army said in its petition that seven members of the sect were killed in order to save the life of the Chief of Army Staff during the incident, there were reports that members of the sect who died was in scores.
Angwe said apart from the Army’s petition, the commission also received another petition from some followers of the Shiite sect seeking, “the intervention of the commission for the release of some of their members trapped in a tunnel since the Sunday, December 13, 2015 incident”.
He said the commission’s subsequent intervention had since led to the release of about 51 members of the sect from the tunnel.
The panel is expected under its terms of reference read by Angwe on Monday “to find out the immediate and remote causes of the violations”.

The rest of the terms of reference are, “To find out those responsible or culpable for the violations?; to recommend remedies if possible for the violations; to find out those who lost their lives and properties destroyed on both sides during the clash; to make recommendations for damages where appropriate and for prevention of future violations; any other directives by the Executive Secretary.”
Angwe said the setting up of the panel was in line with the commission’s mandate “to receive complaints on human rights violation, monitor and investigate such allegations with a view to making appropriate determination in the circumstance”.
While urging the members to be diligent in the discharge of the “very serious national assignment”, Angwe reminded them of the commission’s power “to summon any person or any institution ?that has information, document, or any material that will assist you in your task”.

Shittes & Another Muslim Sect Clash In Jos

There has been a clash between Shitte members and rival Muslim youths in Jos. The clash has left one person dead.

According to reports, hundreds of Shitte women dressed in black had staged a protest in Jos today demanding the release of their leader El-Zakzaky, his wife and some other members who have being in detention since the 12th of December after being arrested by the army during a clash that left some members dead.

Aside requesting for the release of their leader they are also requesting for the release of the dead bodies of their members killed by the army for proper burial according to Islamic traditions.

The protest which started off as peaceful turned violent leading to a clash and the death of one person. Security personnel have since been deployed to strategic places in the state while worship places are being heavily guarded.

All forms of rallies, protests and processions have been banned in the state or must get the permission of the police before commencing.

El-Rufai Bans Shi’ites, Others From Blocking Roads; To Set Up Commission Of Inquiry

The Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, says he will set up a judicial commission of inquiry into last weekend’s deadly clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the Shi’ia Islamic Movement, which left more than 60 people dead.

The army said troops used force after members of the group barricaded a road in Zaria and attempted to kill the chief of army, Tukur Buratai.

The exact number of casualties is still unclear, but majority of the victims are believed to be members of the Shi’ia sect.

Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the sect’s leader, was arrested by the military, after his wife and son were killed in the violence, the group said.

The killings have sparked international condemnation, with calls for a transparent investigation.

In a broadcast Thursday, Mr. El-Rufai announced a ban on processions — in all parts of the state — that could result in roads being barricaded.

He also said a judicial commission of inquiry would be set up by the state government to look into the incident in Zaria.

The governor said the composition and terms of reference of the commission would be announced within two weeks.

He assured the people of the state that the government was committed to securing the state and upholding the rights of every citizen.

“We have witnessed sad events in Zaria,” the governor said. “There have been tragic consequences and needless loss of lives, and we extend our condolences to the families that have been affected.”

“In this sombre moment, the government has directed that steps be taken to address the humanitarian fallouts of the security operations,” he said.

Credit: PremiumTimes