Police Confirm Arrest of 60 Shiite Members as El-zakzaky is Arraigned

The FCT Police Command said on Tuesday confirmed the arrest of 60 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in the territory during a violent protest on Monday in Abuja.
The group defied warning from the police and staged the violent protest to demand the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who had been detention since 2016.
This is even as the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria otherwise known as Shiite, Ibrahim El-zakzaky was Tuesday brought to court in Kaduna on
El-Zakzaky was arraigned before a Kaduna High Court amidst tight security.
The appearance marks the first time the Shiite leader would be tried in public since his arrest and detention in December 2015.
On the arrest of members of the sect, the spokesman of the police in the FCT, Anjuguri Manzah, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, confirmed the arrest to journalists on Tuesday at the Garki Hospital.
Manzah was in the hospital to see how the two personnel of the command, who sustained varied degree of injuries while dispersing the protesters, were recuperating.
They are Linus Ogah, a Superintendent of Police, who had bruises on his face and could hardly speak or open his eyes, and Mary Ameh, an Inspector, who sustained injury in one of her hands.
The spokesperson said that bullet had been removed from Ms Ameh’s hand, adding that the protesters also destroyed some police operational vehicles.
“During the Monday protest, members of IMN or otherwise known as Shiites engaged police and haul stones at police personnel deployed to disperse them.
“They also smashed some vehicle glasses parked around the Federal Secretariat,” he said.
On April 16, the police had arrested 115 members of the sect when they embarked on a similar violent protest to demand that their leader be freed.
Manzah, who said that though citizens had right to protest, advised that they should do that in a “civil manner’’ and not disturb public peace.
He said that the command had taken proactive measures to check violent protest in the territory.
Meanwhile, the El-zakzaky was arraigned in a Karuna High Court, Tuesday.
he Department of State Security (DSS), has held the Shiite leader in detention despite a court order ordering his release.
He was arrested following a clampdown on his supporters who blocked the army chief, Tukur Buratai, from using a public road.
Over 340 members of the Shiite group were killed in December 12, 2016 by the soldiers in attacks condemned by local and international rights groups.
One soldier was also killed.
While no soldier is being prosecuted for the mass killings of the Shiites, the Kaduna government is prosecuting Mr El-Zakzaky for the death of the soldier.
It is for that trial that El-Zakzaky was brought to court on Tuesday.
They were said to have been brought into Kaduna the previous night from where he was kept.
Journalists and other members of the IMN that trooped to the court premises were barred from entering as the major road leading to the court was blocked off by armed security officers.
Persons who were not staff of the High Court were also turned away from the area.
The counsel to El-Zakzaky, Maxwell Kyom, said that the cleric is being charged with unlawful gathering, criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide punishable with death.
Kyom said the case could not continue because two of the defendants were not in court.
According to him, an oral application was moved for the bail of the cleric and his wife. But the presiding Judge, Gideon Kurada, asked him to put his application officially in writing.
The case was adjourned to June 21 by the presiding Judge based on application by the prosecutor for them to properly file their statement of claim.
Following the trial, IMN members protested in Kaduna demanding the release of their leader.
A member of the group, Abdulhameed Bello, said they were disappointed with the trial because the Federal Government refused to heed an earlier court ruling granting bail to the cleric.
“We call on the Federal and Kaduna State Governments to as a matter of urgency obey the judgment of the Abuja court and release the Sheikh for peace to reign,” he said.
Bello explained that IMN members will continue to use all peaceful means to put pressure on the government to release the detained cleric.

Author: News Editor

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