Police Warns Shiites Against Protesting In FCT

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The Federal Capital Territory Police Command has warned the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, also called the Shiite Islamic sect, against carrying out any protest in the FCT.

The warning was contained in a statement issued on Wednesday and signed by Manzah Anjuguri, the FCT Police Public Relations Officer.

“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 statement read.

“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 to go on with the planned protest.”

Anjuguri warned the IMN “to immediately stay action on their planned protest or be prepared to be dealt with in accordance with the appropriate sections of the law.”

There have been several court judgments to the effect that Nigerians do not need to obtain a police permit before embarking on peaceful protests, but the police have always maintained that such permits were required, especially for protests considered unfavourable to the government in power.

Reacting to the police statement, Abdullahi Musa, one of the leaders of the IMN in Abuja told newsmen that the group has no plans to embark on any protest on Wednesday as alleged by the police.

Musa, who is the Secretary General of the Academic Forum of the IMN, said that members of the group have not held any protest since a federal high court in Abuja ordered the release of the leader of the sect 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?” Musa queried.

“We have not protested and we will not protest till the 45 days elapses; if he is not released.”






     

     

    He added 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.”

    Recall that Justice Gabriel Kolawole had on December 2 ordered the federal government to release El-Zakzaky within 45 days from the judgment day

    The Shiite leader has remained in custody since the clash between members of the IMN and soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna State, in December 2015.

    The clash led to the death of more than 300 members of the group. One soldier was also died in the violence.

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