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IMN seeks IGP’s imprisonment over non-release of members’ bodies for burial

By Tina Abeku, Abuja
04 October 2022   |   10:18 am
The Islamic Movement of Nigeria, (IMN), popularly known as Shi'ites, have applied for an order for the committal of the Inspector-General of Police, (IGP), Usman Baba, to a correctional center for his alleged refusal, despite the court order, to release corpses of 'Free Zakzaky' protesters killed by men of the Nigeria Police in July 2019.

Members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) wave flags and chant slogans as they take part in a demonstration to protest against the imprisonnement of a Shiite, in Abuja, on October 29, 2018. – The army and police confronted members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), the group’s spokesman Ibrahim Musa told AFP, amid reports of casualties. Rights groups have accused Nigeria’s military of killing more than 300 IMN supporters and burying them in mass graves during the 2015 confrontation, a charge the military strongly denies. (Photo by Sodiq ADELAKUN / AFP)

The Islamic Movement of Nigeria, (IMN), popularly known as Shi’ites, have applied for an order for the committal of the Inspector-General of Police, (IGP), Usman Baba, to a correctional center for his alleged refusal, despite the court order, to release corpses of ‘Free Zakzaky’ protesters killed by men of the Nigeria Police in July 2019.

The order filed at the Federal High court, Abuja, against the IGP and the Chief Medical Director,(CMD), of National Hospital, Abuja, is seeking the imprisonment of the duo for contempt of court in the non-release of the corpses.

The Academic Forum of the IMN led my Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, made this known at a media briefing yesterday in Abuja.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Halima Aliyu, explained that the continued refusal of the police to release the dead bodies of its members in connivance with the hospital authority years after killing them has necessitated the current call and action by the IMN.

Appealing to public support she said “recall that on Monday, 22nd July 2019, police officers attacked a peaceful Free-Zakzaky protest and opened fire on protesters which led to the killing of 12 protesters, 1 unknown person, a Deputy Commissioner of Police and a journalist with Channels TV.

“After the incident, the police evacuated the corpses of the slain, deposited 4 at National Hospital Abuja, and 2 at Asokoro District Hospital while some of the protesters were able to take away 6 bodies of those killed.

She said many others were arrested, taken to SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad), facilities with neither medication not feeding while languishing in custody leading to the deaths of 3 more protesters and “again, the corpses were moved to Asokoro District Hospital” bringing the number of corpses there to five.

Aliyu pointed out that despite several attempts to retrieve the four bodies deposited there and the five at Asokoro for proper burial, the National Hospital in connivance with the police has so far refused to release the bodies.

According to her, “Reliable information has it that the police is hiding them to avoid being exposed as killers of the deputy commissioner of police and journalist upon whom they put aside post mortem investigations. This is aimed at shielding themselves from giving away forensic evidence in favour of the protesters whom they unjustly accuse of committing the murder”

The group laments that despite the court judgement in their favour, the police have continued to withhold the corpses.

“The court also ordered the Inspector general of police to pay N15, 000, 000 to the families of the slain protesters. Moreover, the court ordered both the inspector general of police, the chief medical director, National Hospital Abuja, to release the corpses of the protesters,” she adds