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All your gathering or procession remains ultimately illegal—police warn Shiites ahead of annual march

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 The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu on Monday reiterated that members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiites are banned from embarking on any form of procession, insisting the group remains proscribed.

His current stance is coming on the heels of information in the public domain that members of the proscribed group were planning a nationwide procession on Tuesday to mark Ashura the 10th day of Muharam, the first month in the Islamic calendar.

Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Frank Mba, who disclosed this in a statement on behalf of the IGP urged the public to provide the police with useful information as regards the activities of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

“The Force notes that in line with the Terrorism (Prevention) Proscription Order Notice 2019 of 26th July 2019, the activities of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria has been proscribed.

“Consequently, all gathering or procession by the group remains ultimately illegal and will be treated as a gathering in the advancement of terrorism,” he stated.

In July, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja ordered the proscription of the activities and existence of IMN following an ex-parte application filed by the Federal Government through the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The court declared that the activities of the group in any part of the country “amount to acts of terrorism and illegality.”

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“To this end, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu has directed the Commissioners of Police in all the states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja as well as their supervisory Assistant Inspectors-General of Police to put in place concrete measures to avert any planned procession or disruption of public peace by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, anywhere in the country,” he said.

He enjoined parents to keep a close eye on their wards to prevent them from been lured to crises hot spots.

“In addition, the IGP has also advised parents and guardians to prevail on their children and wards not to be cajoled into embarking on illegal and ill-motivated activities by anyone or group of persons, under any guise whatsoever,” he concluded.

There are unconfirmed reports that the IMN members were gathering from all the 19 northern states to stage the annual Ashura procession in Abuja on Tuesday which is the 10th of Muharam, the first month of Islamic calendar.

The report say Shiite members would troop from all cities and villages in the 19 northern states to Abuja for the procession.

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Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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