© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
DCP killed,journalist injured, properties destroyed as Police, Shiites clash in Abuja
A Channels Television reporter was on Monday hit by a stray bullet during a clash between members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) and men of the Nigeria Police in Abuja when a protest by the former turned violent.
The injured reporter identified as Precious Owolabi was on assignment covering the protest when he was hit in the stomach. He was taken to an undisclosed hospital.
Reports say police used live bullets against the IMN members also known as Shiites who were protesting the continued detention of their leader, Ibrahim El-zakzaky.
Also, The PUNCH reported that a senior police officer, Umar Usman ,a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) who was in charge of Operations at the FCT Police Command was shot dead in the clash.
Umar was reportedly gunned down as he tried to pacify the rampaging Shi’ite members who disrupted commercial activities and vehicular movement during the protest.
He was immediately taken to an undisclosed hospital where he gave up the ghost.
During the violent clash that took place at the Federal Secretariat axis of the nation’s capital, an ambulance emergency response bay belonging to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and emergency vehicles were also set ablaze by the angry Shiite members.
Eyewitnesses said the Shiite members started their usual procession from the popular Nitel junction at Wuse 2 to demand the release of their detained leader who was arrested in December 2015 following a clash between his members and men of Nigerian Army in Zaria.
But Monday protest turned violent after police attempted to disrupt their procession by cordoning the road leading to the National Assembly.
Unconfirmed reports said the Shiite protesters were using petrol bombs against the police.
No casualty figure has been released by police from the clash, however a video nicked from a Twitter post shows a man lying motionless on the ground while an emergency vehicle was on fire.
However, calls placed to the Police spokesperson of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) command, Anjuguri Manza, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) was unanswered at the time of filing this report.
The police had earlier alerted the public of the violent protest going on in some parts of FCT. Police spokesperson, Frank Mba who issued a statement about violent protest urged citizens to be calm and avoid the affected areas said the police will keep the public abreast with further development.
The Presidency had earlier called on the members of the IMN to stop protesting as El-Zakzakky’s case had been taken up by the Kaduna State Government.
After the violent clash between Shiite members and the police at the National Assembly complex two weeks ago, which left two members of the sect dead and others injured, police issued a restriction order that no protest should go beyond the Unity Fountain.
Shiite (Islamic movement of Nigeria) “peaceful protest” Federal Secretariat, opposite Fed Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Abuja – Nigeria pic.twitter.com/c9DwJPGUAl
— Kayode Ogundamisi (@ogundamisi) July 22, 2019