Police Arraign Shi’ite Members in Abuja over Alleged Public Breach of Peace

The Nigerian Police Force on Thursday arraigned no fewer than 130 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
They were Arraigned before a Magistrate Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), sitting in Wuse over an alleged breach of public peace on five count charge.
The police said they are culpable of cruminal act bordering on disturbance of public peace, rioting and constituting nuisance to other citizens.
The Shi’ite members, who were arraigned before the Wuse, Zone 2 area were however admitted to bail in various sums.
They were granted in the sums ranging from N50,000 to N500,000.
In the First Information Report (FIR), the defendants are being charged with Joint Act, Joining or continuing in unlawful Assembly knowing it has been commanded to disperse, disturbance of public peace, rioting and causing hurt, an offence the police said is contrary to section 79, 104, 113, 106 and 242 of the Penal Code.
According to the charged, the defendants were said to have been involved in riotous act, disturbing public peace and blocking vehicular movement in different parts of the FCT and its environs on the 30 October, 2018.
The police further alleged that the defendants who were gathered in large groups were ordered by the Assistant Commissioner of Police in Charge of Operation FCT Police Command, ACP Valentine Olumesi to disperse peacefully but that they refused and started throwing stones at the police officers and other members of the public thereby causing them bodily harm.
However, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges read to them.
Musa Yusuf, Counsel to 20 of the defendants arraigned before Justice Lateef Abolaji of Court 17, subsequently moved their bail application.
Though counsel to the police, Edwin Ochei, opposed the application, the trail judge, however admitted the defendants to bail, stating that the offences allegedly committed were bailable.
He consequently admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N50,000 each with a surety in like sum.
Other conditions he attached to their bail include deposing to an affidavit to keep peace and be of good behaviour.
Their sureties must also be residents of Abuja with verifiable office and residential addresses. In addition, they are to deposit either their national identity cards, drivers’ licence or international passports with the court.
Justice Abolaji subsequently adjourned till December 5, 2018 for commencement of trial.
Another batch of 35 who were arraigned before Justice Njideka Duru of Court 11 were admitted to bail in the same sum of N50,000 each with 2 sureties in like sum.
However, while those arraigned before Justice Musa Jibo of Court 15 were admitted to bail in the sum of N200,000 each and 2 sureties in like sum, those arraigned before Justice Elizabeth Jones-Woni were granted bail in the sum of N500,000 each.
The Shi’ite protesters had besieged the FCT and environs in their thousands calling on the Federal government to free their leader, Sheik Elzakzaky, who alongside his wife are been held by the Federal government since 2015.

Author: News Editor

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