Nigeria officially proscribes El-Zakzaky’s Shiite group
The Nigerian government Tuesday officially proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), known as Shiites, a few days after a court outlawed the Islamic group whose recently clashes with the police has left many dead.
“In consequence, henceforth, any person engaged or associating, in any manner that could advance the activities of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria, shall be treated as a terrorist, enemy of the State,” Nigeria’s inspector-general of police Mohammed Adamu said at a press conference in Abuja.
“The import of this is that all forms of procession or protest by IMN is now illegal and thus banned.”
The leader of the group Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat were arrested by the Nigerian government in 2015.
The couple is facing an eight-count of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disturbance of public peace.
But El-Zakzaky’s lawyer, Femi Falana, condemned the government’s action, describing it as illegal.
“The proscription of the IMN because of its protests against the disobedience of court orders by the President Muhammadu Buhari regime is immoral and illegal in every material particular,” Falana said.
However, the government on Sunday noted that it was only “fighting lawlessness and criminality and not pursuing a policy of discrimination against any group.”
The Nigerian government said it only wanted to “discourage wanton violence, murder and willful destruction of public and private property.”
The government said the Shiites protests have been taken over by “extremists” who didn’t believe in peaceful protests.