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Shiites fault alleged secret trial of 191 members in Kaduna




MEMBERS of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites, have criticised the alleged arraignment of 191 of its members at a Magistrate’s Court that sat in Kaduna Central Prison, saying it is unconstitutional, null and void.

According to the Shiites, the Magistrate’s Court in the prison premises “read out some charges against the 191 brothers of the Islamic Movement that were languishing in jail for the past two months. It said among the charges were illegal assembly, causing bodily harm, public disturbances and possession of fire-arms”

A statement issued by the spokesman of the Islamic group, Malam Ibrahim Musa, said: “The Islamic Movement objects to the way and manner the court had its first sitting in the prison. The court ought to have offered the general public its reason for the unusual sitting in prison, but it did not.

“For the court to hide under the guise of ‘security reasons’ for its sitting in prison is a travesty of justice, since justice as they say, should not only be done, but seen to be done. We object to the secret trial because under the law, trial of charges against the brothers of the Islamic Movement should be held in an open court where the public can witness it.

“What happened yesterday (Wednesday) in Kaduna Prison is akin to a secret trial where the public was denied entry to the court proceedings. But more worrisome to us is the charge of possession of firearms labelled against the brothers.”

“The prosecutor even said a large cache of arms was recovered from some of the brothers that had to be taken to Lagos for expert analysis. We believe this is a trumped-up charge brought up against the IMN. It is pertinent to note that had the brothers been in possession of any weapon, the story of the massacre carried out by the Army in Zaria would have been an entirely different thing”.

Musa further said, among others: “There would have been large casualties on the side of the attacking army as well but there isn’t. However, the world is a witness to the fact that not even a single soldier died when the Army mercilessly descended upon unarmed civilians in Husainiyya Islamic Centre and the residence of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.

“The fact that weapons are just being brought up for the first time in this matter suggests that the authorities are trying by all means to frame-up charges and produce manufactured evidences against the Islamic Movement. Why did it take the Army this long to make it public? Moreover, earlier, and on three occasions, the General Officer Commanding 1 Mechanised Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. Adeniyi Oyebade, who also proudly announced that he led the operation, declared that brothers of the Islamic Movement had no weapons but catapults, machetes and sticks.”

“He made this declaration again in another press conference where the Army made public their success in the fight against crimes in 2015. So, from whom were the weapons taken to Lagos by the police confiscated?”

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