Alleged Homicide: Court Remands 60 Shiite Members In Correctional Facilities

A file photo of policemen dispersing Shiite members during a protest in Abuja on July 22, 2019. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), sitting in the Apo area of Abuja has remanded 60 members of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), otherwise called the Shiite group to Kuje prison in Abuja and Suleja prison in Niger State on remand.

The 60 proscribed IMN members were arrested during the July 22 bloody protest at the Federal Secretariat area of Abuja, which led to the death of a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Usman Umar, and Precious Owolabi, a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member with Channels Television.

They were arraigned before the court on November 27 by the FCT Command of the Nigeria Police.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Traditional Ruler Accused Of Raping Boy, Family Demands Justice

The suspects were arraigned on charges bordering on homicide, disturbances of public peace, and destruction of government properties.

They had, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them by the police.

On resumption of the case on Tuesday, counsel for the defendants, Mr Bala Dakum, informed the court that he had filed a bail application on behalf of the Shiite members.

When the court drew his attention to filing only one bail application for the 60 defendants, which was brought by way of summon, Dakum said he would withdraw it.

He subsequently did in order to file separate applications for the defendants.

Justice Sulaiman Belgore then struck out the application, having been withdrawn by the defence counsel with no objection from the prosecution.

As a result, the prosecuting counsel, Mr Simon Lough, requested that the defendants should be remanded in Kuje and Suleja correctional facilities.

Lough, who is a Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), asked that 54 male defendants be remanded at the correctional facility in Kuje, while the remaining six defendants who are females be sent to the Suleja correctional on remand.

He also applied that trial of the defendants be held where they are remanded for convenience, adding that the trial should be given an accelerated hearing considering their number.

The prosecution’s oral applications for the remand of the defendants and trial being held where they are being remanded were not opposed by their counsel.

Ruling on the applications, Justice Belgore held that having not been opposed by the counsel for the defendants, the court was minded to remand the defendants at the correctional facilities.

“The defendants be remanded at the correctional facilities. They are to be remanded at Kuje and Suleja correctional yards. Trial to be held in Kuje correctional yard,” he ruled.

The judge then adjourned until February 5, 2020, for the commencement of trial which he ordered to be on a daily basis.

Iraqi Protesters Set Fire To Iran’s Najaf Consulate

Iraqi demonstrators gather as flames start consuming Iran’s consulate in the southern Iraqi Shiite holy city of Najaf on November 27, 2019, two months into the country’s most serious social crisis in decades. Haidar HAMDANI / AFP

 

Protesters set fire Wednesday night to Iran’s consulate in the southern Iraqi Shiite holy city of Najaf, two months into the country’s most serious social crisis in decades, AFP journalists said.

Since October 1, protesters in Iraq — a majority Shiite country, like its neighbour Iran — have been calling for the fall of a central government they see as both irretrievably corrupt and beholden to Tehran.

El-Zakzaky, Wife Arrive In Nigeria

 

Leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, have returned to Nigeria from India.

The couple returned to the country on Friday afternoon, four days after they travelled to the Asian country for treatment.

Channels Television crew were at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport as early as 6am to cover the arrival of the El-Zakzakys.


Trip To Delhi


El-Zakzaky and his wife left Nigeria on Monday for India following a ruling of the Kaduna State High Court which granted them permission to be treated in the country.

On their arrival at the hospital where treatment was expected to commence, the trip turned controversial.

The IMN accused the Nigerian government of treating their leader like a criminal and denying him access to the doctor with whom they had an arrangement.

They also claimed that El-Zakzaky was denied free movement and was monitored by heavy security surveillance in India.


‘We Were Brought To Another Detention’, El-Zakzaky Speaks On Situation In Indian Hospital [Full Transcript]
FG Accuses El-Zakzaky Of ‘Unruly Behaviour’, Apologises To India
The Problem El-Zakzaky Encountered In Delhi Has Been Resolved – IMN Spokesman


Treatment Turned Controversy


El-Zakzaky had also narrated his ordeal in the foreign country, saying the condition in India was worse than that of Nigeria.

“We saw that we were practically brought to another detention facility which is even stricter than the one we were in back in Nigeria. They came here with police armed with guns and a lot of staff from the Nigerian embassy. And we also noticed we were brought into another detention that we only came based on trust.

“Even in Nigeria, they agreed where we were detained that we would be treated only by the doctors we choose and are comfortable with allowing to treat us. But here we understand that the doctors that advised us to come here are blocked from having any say in our case,” the IMN leader had said.

The Nigerian Government, in its response, denied the allegations by the IMN and its leader.

Instead, the government accused the Shiite leader of becoming unruly at the hospital in New Delhi and apologised to the Indian authorities.

It insisted that the allegations were “foul cry”, saying claims that El-Zakzaky was held in circumstances worse than he was in Nigeria should be disregarded.

The government said the IMN leader was allowed to embark on the trip with state officials in line with the court order and his choice to be accompanied by his aides and personal doctors were not opposed.

It added that the IMN leader chose the hospital where he was admitted in India, but he began to display “ulterior motives” against laid down procedures.


Return After Stalemate


After the exchange of blames from both sides, spokesperson for the IMN, Ibrahim Musa, told Channels Television that the controversy El-Zakzaky’s treatment in India had been resolved.

Barely a day after the interview, Musa said the IMN leader and his wife have embarked on a trip back to Nigeria.

He explained that the decision was as a result of lack of a breakthrough in the impasse that ensued regarding El-Zakzaky’s treatment in India.

“It is clear to us that the Nigerian government interference and the scuttling of the whole process rather than supervision as ordered by the court are the direct cause of the impasse,” he said.

El-Zakzaky and his wife are facing an eight-count of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disturbance of public peace at the Kaduna State High Court.

The charges were filed against them by the Kaduna State Government and the duo were first arraigned in May 2018.

Following their return to the country from India, it is unclear what the next line of action would be.

Killings: The Presidency Feels Very Very Sad – Adesina

 

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has said that the Presidency is saddened by the spate of killings in the country.

He said this on Tuesday while reacting to the Shiite/police clash in the nation’s capital, Abuja, which resulted in the killing of a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Usman Umar, a corp member who was serving with Channels TV and some Shiite members.

When asked “how does the presidency feel?” during an interview on the station’s breakfast show Sunrise Daily, he said: “very very sad”, noting that that primary responsibility of government should be to secure lives of citizens.

“This is our country, we are all citizens, lives should not be taken just anyhow. The primary responsibility of government is to protect lives and property. The Constitution vests the protection of lives and property in the government so when it fails, as we have seen it fail in recent times and particularly yesterday, government will feel it, because it’s not good for anybody”.


RELATED

Shiite Protest: Buhari Orders IGP To Provide Security For Every Nigerian

‘I Just Can’t Get Over It’, Adesina Reacts To Death Of Channels TV Staff

Shiite Protests Have Become Anything But Civil – Adesina

Mr Adesina, however, assured Nigerians that regardless of the current security situation, a lot is being done to secure Nigerians and all hands should be on deck.

“A lot is being done but when some people make it seem as if nothing is being done, they are exacerbating the matter.

“Government is doing a lot and these times call for concerted efforts from all Nigerian to beat this insecurity,” he said.

 

Corps Member Serving With Channels TV Dies In Shiite, Police Clash

Corps Member Serving With Channels TV Dies In Shiite, Police Clash

 

A member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving with Channels Television, Precious Owolabi, is dead.

The 23-year-old died of a gunshot wound he sustained while covering the clash between the police and the Shiite protesters on Monday in Abuja.

The management and staff of Channels Television are greatly saddened by the untimely and unfortunate death of such a promising journalist.

They pray that God will grant his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss, and avail his soul eternal rest.


RELATED
DCP Killed In Shiite Protest – Police
Again, Shiite Protesters Clash With Police In Abuja
Shiite Protest: Buhari Orders IGP To Provide Security For Every Nigerian

Police Call For Calm After Shiite Protest

PHOTOS: Channels TV/Sodiq Adelakun

 

The Nigerian Police have called for calm following the clash between members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (ISM) and some officers.

Members of the Islamic group also known as Shiite took to some parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to protest over the detention of their leader Ibrahim El-Zakzakky.

In a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, DCP Frank Mba, says that the police are taking adequate measures to bring the situation under control.

READ ALSO: Again, Shiite Protesters Clash With Police In Abuja

“There is a violent protest currently ongoing by members of the El-Zakzakky Group in some parts of the FCT – particularly the Central Business District and the Three Arms Zone.

“The Police are taking adequate measures to bring the situation under control.

“Citizens are advised to remain calm and avoid the affected areas in the interim.

“The Police will keep the public abreast with further development”.

 

PHOTOS: Shiite Members Storm National Assembly, Clash With Police

 

Protesting Shiite members have stormed the National Assembly, clashing with police officers in the process.

Things turned violent when the protesters, who are demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, tried to gain entry into the complex.

After gaining entry into the first gate of the Assembly, the protesters damaged some vehicles including a police van with a policeman injured in the process.

Details later…

Shiite Opposition Leader Loses Appeal Against Life Sentence In Bahrain

Bahrain’s Al-Wefaq opposition group leader Sheikh Ali Salman looks on during a rally against the upcoming parliamentary election in the village of Zinj, south of Manama. AFP

 

Bahrain’s supreme court, whose verdicts are final, on Monday upheld a life term for Shiite opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman for spying for Gulf rival Qatar, a judicial source said.

Salman, who headed the Shiite Al-Wefaq group, was convicted in November of “communicating with Qatari officials… to overthrow constitutional order”, a ruling rights groups have called a travesty.

Salman’s aides Ali al-Aswad and Hassan Sultan, who had been sentenced to life in absentia, also lost their right to appeal. Both men are former MPs and currently reside outside of Bahrain.

Qatar has repeatedly denied accusations of conspiring against Bahrain with Salman.

Bahrain and Qatar have been locked in a bitter regional dispute since June 2017, when a Saudi-led boycott of Doha was enforced over allegations it was cosying up to regional arch-rival Iran and supporting radical Islamist groups.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates banned their citizens from travel to Qatar.

Ruled for more than two centuries by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty, Bahrain has been hit by waves of unrest since 2011, when security forces crushed Shiite-led protests demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister.

Bahrain’s two main opposition groups — Al-Wefaq and the secular Waad — are prohibited from representation in parliament.

Bahraini authorities accuse Shiite Iran of provoking unrest in the kingdom. Tehran denies the allegation.

Human rights groups have frequently said cases against activists in Bahrain — men and women, religious and secular — fail to meet the basic standards of fair trials.

AFP

Suicide Attack Hits Shiite Mosque In Eastern Afghanistan

 

A suicide attack struck a Shiite mosque in eastern Afghanistan Friday targeting worshippers during weekly prayers, with officials warning of multiple casualties in the latest incident to hit the minority.

“A suicide blast took place inside a Shiite mosque in the city of Gardez of Paktia province. There are casualties from the blast, but we don’t know how many for now,” General Raz Mohammad Mandozai, provincial police chief of Paktia, told AFP.

Wilayat Khan Ahmadzai, head of the Gardez public health department, confirmed the attack and fears over mounting casualties.

“We have received 60 wounded worshippers and four dead at the civilian hospital in Gardez,” said Ahmadzai.

The attack comes as urban areas across Afghanistan have been rocked by an increasing number of attacks in recent months, with both the Islamic State (IS) and Taliban insurgents targeting security forces and government installations.

The Taliban has not claimed a major attack in a city for weeks as it comes under increased pressure to agree to peace talks with the Afghan government.

But IS has carried out multiple attacks in the eastern city of Jalalabad and the capital Kabul in recent months, targeting everything from government ministries to a midwife training centre.

Last month an IS suicide bomber blew himself up near Kabul international airport, killing 23 people including AFP driver Mohammad Akhtar.

The increased attacks come as US and Afghan forces intensify ground and air offensives against IS, and the Taliban step up their turf war with the group.

Police Vow To Arraign Shiite Members Arrested In Abuja

Police Vow To Arraign Shiite Members Arrested In Abuja
File photo of Shiite members during a protest

 

Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command has arrested 52 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, popularly known as Shiite, following what it describes as a violent protest in Abuja.

A statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer, Anjuguri Manzah, on Wednesday said those arrested would be charged to court upon conclusion of investigations.

The Shiites members had trooped out in the Garki area of the FCT in continuation of their demonstrations against the detention of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

The police claimed that the group’s members went on a rampage and attacked innocent citizens as well as police operatives.

The command added that it recovered some bottles of improvised petrol-bomb, stones and catapults allegedly used by the group to attack police personnel.

Some of the exhibits the police say they recovered

It said the action of the group constituted a security threat to the peace of the FCT and business activities in the nation’s capital.

Other exhibits the police say they recovered

 

Read full statement below

Following the violent protest by members of the El-Zakzaky Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) group who went on rampage and were attacking innocent citizens including Police operatives on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, the FCT Police Command has arrested some members of the sect and recovered some bottles of improvised petrol-bomb, stones and catapult used by members of the sect to attack police operatives and damage police operational vehicles.

It is pertinent to state that the unlawful action of members of the sect which started on Monday, January 8, 2018, is constituting a serious security threat to the peace of the Federal Capital Territory and at the same time disrupting innocent citizens from going about their lawful businesses.

In view of the current security situation in the country, the Command wishes to unequivocally state that while it will continue to be professional in the discharge of its constitutional and statutory roles of the protection of lives and property of the good people of FCT; and equally recognise the rights of citizens to express their lawful grievances, the Command will not fold its arms and watch some persons hold the capital city to ransom by disrupting government and legitimate business activities.

In view of the foregoing, the Command wants to state that any person or group of persons arrested for violating the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution while registering their protest will be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the appropriate section(s) of the law.

Meanwhile, the 52 members of the El-Zakzaky group arrested by police operatives during today’s (January 10, 2018) violent protest that left some policemen with injury will be charged to court upon the conclusion of investigation.

Blast Hits Afghan Capital Near Shi’ite Mosque, Kills One

Suicide attackers hit the Afghan capital Kabul on Friday (September 29) near a large Shi’ite mosque, killing at least one person, police said.

The blast hit the Qala-e Fatehullah area of the city, near the Hussainya mosque, and occurred as security forces were on alert for possible attacks during Ashura, the holiest celebration in the Shi’ite religious calendar.

Security officials said at least two attackers were killed as they carried out the operation, apparently intended to hit the mosque, just a month after 20 people were killed during prayers at another Shi’ite mosque in Kabul.

The local affiliate of Islamic State has claimed several attacks on Shi’ite targets in Kabul in recent years and the government has allowed the Shi’ite community to place armed guards near mosques.

Iraq Violence: Dozens Dead In Baghdad Suicide Attack On Shia

iraqi At least 30 people have died in a suicide attack targeting Shiite in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Over 60 others were injured in the attack launched a tent in a crowded market in a northern district of the city.

Many Shia pilgrims are taking part in mourning rituals commemorating the killing of the Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, Hussein, in the 17th century. Reports say a militant detonated a suicide vest in the tent at lunchtime, when it was full of pilgrims.

Some people were also in the tent to mourn the death of a local resident, authorities said. The tent was set up in a crowded market in the city’s northern al-Shaab district.

No-one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Islamic State has carried out similar attacks in the past.

The latest attack comes as Iraqi forces prepare for an offensive in northern Iraq on Mosul, the last is-held major city in the country.