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Shiites allege illegal arrest of members

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Members of Shite Movement, Protesting at the Federal Secretariat demanding for the release of their leader, El-zakzaky and justice done to the killer of their members in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ELUKPO.

Members of Shite Movement, Protesting at the Federal Secretariat demanding for the release of their leader, El-zakzaky and justice done to the killer of their members in Abuja yesterday. PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ELUKPO.

Members of the outlawed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) have alleged that the Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, was illegally arresting its members as they perform Islamic religious rites.

The sect’s spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, said in a statement yesterday, that it would seek legal redress in the face of provocation by the governor.

Musa described the recent ban placed on IMN, also called the Shiites, as unconstitutional and a violation of the members’ rights.

El-Rufai, had in a statement by his aide yesterday ordered that the group’s spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, be arrested for belonging to what he described as an illegal group.

Musa said: “The Kaduna State government has gone ahead to trample on the rights of people who were taking part in
their religious duty, in a scandalous violation of all known sane laws.

“This is pursuant to the purported ban placed on the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), which itself is a contradiction to the sections of the Nigerian Constitution that guarantees freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

“These sections include, the freedom to change one’s religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or in private, to manifest and propagate one’s religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.”

The statement added: “In effecting this illegitimate ban, unwarranted arrests by policemen were done. They crudely used clubs and sticks as well as tear gas, injuring some before taking them into custody.

“Those affected were mostly women and minors, including eight members of the same family, as they made their way to attend the Ashura mourning event, which to us, is a religious
duty.”

The spokesman alleged that government had recruited both conventional security agents and thugs in the manhunt and arrest of its members.

Musa explained that in Zaria and other places in the state, armed policemen have mounted a search for its members, including at the venue of the Ashura congregation.



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