Court To Hear IMN’s Suit Challenging Proscription In September

Shiites Continue Protest, Call For El-Zakzaky’s Release
FILE PHOTO: Shiites members protest in Abuja on July 19, 2019.

 

The attempt by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) to challenge their proscription by the Federal Government today has suffered a setback.

This comes as a Federal High Court presided over by Justice Evelyn Maha adjourned the suit to September 11, 2019.

The adjournment is predicated on an application for extension of time filed by the Counsel to the Department of State Services.

Department of Security Service (DSS) is asking the court for more time to enable them regularise a motion filed in respect of the suit.

Members of IMN had earlier approached the court challenging the Federal Government’s decision proscribing the movement on the ground that it is a terrorist organisation.

PHOTOS: IMN Members Protest Continued Detention Of El-Zakzaky

 

The members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites, have once again taken to the streets of the nation’s capital to protest the continued detention of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakyzaky.

This time, the IMN members took their protest to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where a meeting between the minister and the diplomatic community on the 2019 General Elections was ongoing.

Below are some more photos from the protest.

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El-Zakzaky’s Trial: Police Warns Shiites In Kaduna Against Unlawful Procession

File photo of a police van in Kaduna State

 

Ahead of the arraignment of the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky at the Kaduna State High Court, tomorrow, Wednesday, police in the state have warned members of the movement not to embark on any form of unauthorised assembly or protest.

A statement signed on Tuesday by the police spokesperson in the state, Mukhtar Aliyu, warns that the police will not hesitate to deal decisively with any person or group of persons who deliberately attempt to violate the ban on unlawful assembly.

The police also adviced residents of the state capital to go about their businesses without fear. They assured them that adequate security has been put in place for the hitch-free court appearance of the IMN leader.

As part of the security measures put in place for a smooth process of the court trial, there will be traffic diversion in some parts of the state, especially the roads leading to the court.

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“Members of the public should note that the ban on all forms of processions and demonstrations in Kaduna State is still in force. Therefore, the public is advised to remain calm and not to be apprehensive where they observe an unusual number of security personnel in town.

“The Command wishes to notify the general public to exercise more security consciousness as they go about their daily chores and other lawful businesses by being extra vigilant of their environment, persons around them, activities of suspicious persons etc so as to prevent miscreants disturbing the peace of the State,” the statement read in part.

However, the spokesperson for the Islamic Movement, Ibrahim Musa says there is no plan by the Shiite members to cause public disorder during the arraignment of their leader by the Kaduna State Government.

They claimed that their previous protests have been peaceful adding that they have been victims of attacks.

Musa said, “we will, therefore, like to assure the public that our history speaks for us, we are always the victims of forceful aggression. We have never killed, maimed nor destroyed anybody’s property, and we will not start it now. All that we are saying and will keep on saying is free our leader.”

Residents Panic As Shiites, Police Clash In Kaduna

Police Officers at one of the areas affected during the clash between Shiite protesters and the police on Wednesday, June 20.

 

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shiites have clashed with the police in Kaduna State following an unapproved protest by the group.

The clash between the police and the IMN members has created panic in the state capital, a situation that has forced traders to close their shops for fear of being attacked.

The protest is coming a day to the trial of leader of the movement, Sheikh Ibraheem Elzakzaky by the Kaduna State government.

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Elzakazky is expected to be in court on Thursday over his alleged involvement in breach of public peace and murder.

Policemen have however been drafted to strategic locations and flashpoints in the state capital to avert any form of protest or breakdown of law and order by the IMN members.

Police Disperse El-Zazaki Protesters In Abuja

Zaria Residents Protest Against El-Zakzaky's ReleaseThe Police on Monday, dispersed members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria in Abuja as they once again trooped out to demand the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

The protesters marched through the streets with placards but were dispersed by the police who fired teargas and water cannons as they made their way towards the headquarters of the National Human Rights Commission.

The group has continued to protest across Nigeria since the arrest and detention of Sheikh El-Zazaki in December 2016, after a bloody clash between his followers and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Shiites Ask NHRC To Intervene In Zakzaky’s Continued Detention

Shiites, NHRCMembers of the outlawed Islamic Movement in Nigeria have appealed to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to intervene in the continued detention of their leader, Mr Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

The group, popularly known as Shiites, took to the NHCR headquarters in Abuja to protest what they called “a flaunt on the laws of the land with impunity” by the Federal Government.

The Federal High Court in Abuja had in a ruling on December 2, 2016, ordered the release of the Shiites’ leader and his wife in 45 days, a deadline which had expired.

The Federal Government, however, is yet to obey the order.

The Shiites maintained that the government must obey the court order and release their leader and his wife, Zeenah.

The Secretary to the Academic Forum of the Islamic group, Mr Abdullahi Musa, described the continued detention as “unconstitutional and an infringement on the rights” of their leader and his wife.

Zaria Residents Protest Against El-Zakzaky's Release
Mr Ibraheem El-Zakzaky

“The court has ordered the government to free him (El-Zakzaky) within 45 days and today (Tuesday) is the 47th day (and) the government has not done anything. It has not shown any response to the court of law and law of the land, but at the same time they are calling (on) us to be peaceful.

“We have been peaceful since last three decades; we have been peaceful in this country (but) they have been killing us. The reason why we are here is to let the masses know that this government is not ready to free our leader.

“He is an innocent person who has been in detention since last year. So let the people know that the government is not ready to free him despite the court order and that is why we choose to come to the human rights commission because the right of our leader is being violated,” Musa said.

The acting secretary of NHRC, Mrs Oti Ovrawah, commended the group for the peaceful demonstration.

She assured them that the commission would intervene in the matter as soon as possible.

“We are receiving your complaints now and the work of the commission is to pass your complaints and advise the government accordingly.

“We have heard your complaints here (and) we are going to do the needful. We are going to advise the government accordingly in line with your complaints,” Mrs Ovrawah assured the Shiites.

Court Orders Shiites Leader Ibrahim El-Zakzaky’s Release

Ibraheem Zakzaky, court, ShiitesA Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to release the leader of the outlawed Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, within 45 days.

In his judgment, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, ordered the Federal Government to provide an accommodation for El-Zakzaky, his wife and family members within Kaduna State or any part of the northern region.

The court declared the continuous detention of El-Zakzaky since December 13, 2015 as unlawful and illegal since the issue of protective custody was unknown to law or the National Security Agencies Act establishing the DSS.

The court further awarded the cost of 25 million Naira as general damages to be paid to Ibrahim El-Zakzaky who must be released unconditionally to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) within 45 days.

The IGP is also ordered to convey El-Zakzaky and his wife to the accommodation provided by the government.

The court also awarded 25m damages to Mrs Zakzaky, making a cumulative of 50 million Naira as general damages.

Sheikh El-Zakzaky was arrested by soldiers after long hours’ siege on his residence in Zaria on December 13, 2015.

One of his followers confirmed his arrest to Channels Television.

“I saw armoured tanks demolishing the Hussainiyya shrine and the residence of Sheikh El-Zakzaky,” he said.

The Nigerian Army and members of the sect have accused each other of instigating attacks that led to the death of members of the movement few days before his arrest.

After his arrest, the DSS said the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, is being detained at his own will.

The DSS had made the statement in defence of accusations by the council to the leader of the Shiites that his rights were being violated.

Counsel to the DSS, Mr Tijani Gazali, told reporters that the Shiite leader was held by security operatives at his own will and for his benefits.

Mr Gazali said: “He needs not give his consent because it is the duty of the DSS to protect every Nigerian especially one who is as vulnerable as the shite leader is at the moment”.

The group was outlawed by the Kaduna State Government in October in line with the advice of a panel set up to investigate the clash between the group  and the military.

A statement issued by the spokesman for the state governor, Samuel Aruwan, said the government secured an order from the State Executive Council to ban the Islamic Movement from either existing or operating in the state with immediate effect.

In proscribing the group, the government invoked Section 45 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution which empowers the state Governor to take such measures and actions for the promotion and protection of public safety, public order, public morality or public health, or the rights and freedom of all persons in the State.

The statement further explained that the action was to ensure that all persons and organisations were guided by lawful conduct and with due allegiance to the Nigerian state and its Constitution.

Kano Police Present Four Officers Allegedly Wounded By Shiites

kano, police, ShiitesPolice authorities in Kano state, have presented four of its men allegedly wounded by the outlawed Shiite members, during their Arba’een procession.

This comes nearly a week since the clash between mobile Police officers in the state and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).

Presenting the officers to reporters at the command’s headquarters, Police Public Relations officer, DSP Magaji Majia, confirmed the recovery of some weapons from the Shiites on the day of the clash.

“These are the four Police officers wounded by Shiites before the arrival of police re-enforcement on the day of Arba’een trek and the weapons recovered comprise of one AK 47 rifle they snatched from our officer, one cartridge and many other local weapons were also seen in possession of the Shiites.”

In a related development, leader of the movement in Kano, Sheikh Sanusi Abdulkadir, denied allegations of attacking Police officers by his disciples during the procession.

He maintained that his disciples did not attack the Police and according to him,”even the gun shot on this officer was done by the police themselves”.

“You know if you want to justify hanging a dog, you just give him a bad name, otherwise how on earth will a defenseless man snatch a gun from an armed Police officer, it doesn’t make sense to me,” he said.

A statement by the group on Friday said soldiers at a checkpoint in Potiskum, Yobe State, had attempted to plant weapons in the luggage of members of the sect to blackmail them.  

Meanwhile, over 100 members of the group are still in Police custody for allegedly conducting illegal religious procession, attacking and killing Police officers, carrying dangerous weapons, inciting violence and causing various disturbances across the state.

Shiites Claim Soldiers Planned To Plant Weapons In Luggage

Police, Zakzaky, AbujaThe Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) claims soldiers at a checkpoint in Potiskum, Yobe State, had attempted to plant weapons in the luggage of members of the sect to blackmail them.  

A statement by the group on Friday said soldiers mounted the checkpoint, “probably to stop members of the IMN from leaving the town to join others in this year’s annual Arbaeen trek to Zaria”, mourning the martyrdom of imam Husain.

The annual Arbaeen is scheduled to commence from Kano this week.

“The soldiers detained a trailer carrying the personal belongings of those going to Kano for the trek today.

“Apparently, the soldiers have some sinister motives as they were overheard scheming to plant weapons in the luggage and thereafter claim that these bags with the weapons belong to members of the IMN,” the statement by the spokesman for the outlawed group, Ibrahm Musa, read.

Mr Musa further claimed that throughout the nearly four decades of the existence of the IMN, it had never stockpiled, carried or used weapons.

“It never had any cause to, even in the face of provocation.

“The IMN therefore wishes to alert the general public over this evil plot, and categorically reject and disown any attempt by the security services to plant any fake evidence against members of the Islamic Movement (IMN),” he added.

The claim by the Shiites is coming after police said they intercepted a truck in Kano carrying weapons and supplies allegedly belonging to members of the outlawed Islamic Movement in Nigeria popularly known as Shiites.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, the spokesman for the Kano State Police Command, Mr Magaji Majia, said that the truck was coming from Potiskum in Yobe State and was said to be going to Zaria where the Shiites were marking the Arbaeen ritual of the killing of Imam Hussain.

“You can see the weapons made up of cutlasses catapult, generators and other supplies and the truck full of clothes and flags of the movement.”

According to Majia, the weapons are illegal and capable of killing its target on the spot.

“You can remember few days ago, members of this movement attacked and killed one police officer and injuring three others during their illegal procession. Since then, we embarked on investigation, including stop and search, to see if it is true they are carrying dangerous weapons, the results of such investigation led us to this discovery,” he told reporters.

Shiites Accuse Police, FG Of Killing Members

Shiites Accuse Police, FG Of Killing MembersMembers of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria known as Shiites have been speaking on the disruption of their protest march on Monday in Kano which left at least eight people dead.

A member of the group, Mr Maiwada Inuwa, who was a guest on our breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, accused the federal government as well as the Police of killing several members of the movement in what could have been a peaceful march.

At least eight people were confirmed dead and many others injured following the clash which broke out around Tamburawa, on the outskirts of Kano city, when Police reportedly tried to stop the Shiite members who had embarked on the annual Arbaeen trek from Kano to Zaria.

According to the Kano State Police Command, security operatives only intervened as the Shiite members began attacking motorists and passersby.

The Shiites representative, however, argued that since the procession by the Shiites was not a protest it did not warrant any show of force by the security agencies.

“If you are talking of protest, it’s a different thing but for the trekking we know that we were using the highway and other citizens have equal rights of access, so we did not block the highway.

“Our people branched at one village and the Police still followed them. They have burnt most of our assets. What we use even in cooking food were being destroyed.

“They opened fire on us indiscriminately, killed women, children and people of all ages.

“The painful thing is that they kill and take away the corpses,” he lamented.

According to Mr Inuwa the constitution of Nigeria protects all citizens, including the Shiites by guaranteeing religious freedom.

“Particularly section 38 subsection 1, it gives an unfettered right to all Nigerian citizens to practice their religion, thoughts without restriction or harassment.

“In the practice of this religion, you can do that as an individual or as a community.

“So you only seek to apply or request for the protection of the security where you’re envisaging a threat but in our own case, the security are our own threat. They are the ones threatening our lives.

“We have been on air severally with series of press release, telling the intellectual community that this is the arrangement the Nigerian government is having.

“They have long planned to attack the trekking and what happened yesterday was an indication of their plan. It was not a provoked attack, they attacked us,” he maintained.

Shiites, Police Clash In Kano

Shiites, Police Clash In KanoAt least eight people have been confirmed dead and many others injured following a clash between members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiites, and the Police in Kano city.

Eyewitness accounts say trouble broke out around Tamburawa, on the outskirts of Kano city, after the Police tried to stop the Shiite members who had embarked on the annual Arbaeen trek from Kano to Zaria.

But according to the Kano State Police Command, security operatives including anti-robbery squad units only intervened as the Shiite members began attacking motorists and passersby.

The Police Commissioner in the state, Rabiu Yusuf told journalists that one Police officer was also killed and four others injured in the incident

The incident is coming about a month after a mob confronted the members of the group while they were holding a rally also in Kano, leaving many of them with machete wounds.

The Kaduna State Government has formally declared the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) led by Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky as an unlawful society.

The government stated that the group is never a registered organisation in the state and members of the group have refused to conduct themselves with full adherence to the laws of the state.

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria came to prominence when its members clashed with the Nigerian Army in the northern city of Zaria, Kaduna state, in December 2015.

A judicial inquiry in August concluded that the army killed 348 of the sect’s members, a figure that the army has disputed.

The Shiite sect’s leader has been held in custody, without charge, by Nigeria’s security agency since his December arrest following the clashes. His supporters have called for his release.

Members of the group have also held several protests demanding the release of their leader.

One of such protests the group tried to launch after their ban was announced was scuttled by security operatives in Kaduna state.

The protest showed members of the group have ignored the order banning the group and embarked on a procession to commemorate the annual Ashura festival in remembrance of Rhe Matrydon of the grand-son of Prophet Mohammed, Imam Hussein.

Kaduna State Releases Gazette Outlawing Shiites

Shiites-protestThe Kaduna State Government has formally released a Gazette declaring the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) led by Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky as an unlawful society.

Addressing a news conference in Kaduna, spokesman for the state Governor, Samuel Aruwan, says the Islamic Movement in Nigeria is never a registered organisation in the state.

According to him, members of the group have refused to conduct themselves with full adherence to the laws of the state.

He explained that the state government had no intention to ban any duly registered religious group, but except for those that were illegal and a threat to peace and security in the society.

Mr Aruwan added that the government would continue to uphold religious freedom and constitutional rights of every citizen in the state to practice the religion of their choice.

Earlier in the year, the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the clash between soldiers and members of the movement in Zaria last year, recommended the proscription of the IMN.

The state government had on October 7 issued an Order declaring the Shiites group an unlawful association.

A statement issued by Mr Aruwan said the government secured an order from the State Executive Council to ban the group from either existing or operating in the state with immediate effect.

Ibraheem Zakzaky, court, Shiites
The leader of Shiites, Ibraheem Zakzaky, has been in detention since December 2015

In proscribing the group, the government invoked Section 45 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution which empowers the state Governor to take such measures and actions for the promotion and protection of public safety, public order, public morality or public health, or the rights and freedom of all persons in the State.

The statement further explained that the action was to ensure that all persons and organisations were guided by lawful conduct and with due allegiance to the Nigerian state and its Constitution.

With the ban, the statement warns that any citizen of the state, who under any appellation or mutation with the propensity of causing the breakdown of law and order, or operates in a manner dangerous to the good governance of the State, shall be prosecuted in accordance with the Laws of Kaduna State.

After the government made the announcement, a spokesman for the sect, Ibraheem Musa, said its members were not going to be intimidated into resorting to violence.

“Very soon, we shall challenge this ban through legal and peaceful means,” he said.

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria came to prominence when its members clashed with the Nigerian Army in the northern city of Zaria, Kaduna state, in December 2015.

A judicial inquiry in August concluded that the army killed 348 of the sect’s members, a figure that the army has disputed.

The Shiite sect’s leader has been held in custody, without charge, by Nigeria’s security agency since his December arrest following the clashes. His supporters have called for his release.

Members of the group have also held several protests demanding the release of their leader.

One of such protests the group tried to launch after their ban was announced was scuttled by security operatives in Kaduna state.

The protest showed members of the group have ignored the order banning the group and embarked on a procession to commemorate the annual Ashura festival in remembrance of Rhe Matrydon of the grand-son of Prophet Mohammed, Imam Hussein .