- 10 suspects in custody, no shot fired — Police
Protesting members of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiites, yesterday resumed their perennial protest in Abuja.
Yesterday’s protest came about five months after their last known protest in the capital city.
A secondary school student was reportedly shot when policemen who were dispersing protesting members opened fire at the Wuse market area.
The girl was reportedly returning from Government Secondary School, Wuse, when she ran into the policemen, who were dispersing the crowd.
However, Bala Ciroma, Commissioner of Police for the FCT, refuted the claims of the shooting of the school girl, saying, “Nothing like that. No shooting.”
He added that twelve persons were initially arrested but two of them, who were later identified as journalists, have since been released.
When contacted on the reason members of the group returned to the streets yesterday, Ibrahim Musa, a spokesman for the group, said they were yet to write a press release on the matter and that he didn’t have information on the matter.
Some traders in the market wondered why the protesters chose the market area as the venue of their protest when at previous times it mostly held around the Central Business District of the capital city.
The leader of the proscribed group, Sheik Ibrahim El Zakzaky has been in detention since December, 2015 after a clash between his followers and the men of the Nigerian army in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Hundreds of Shiites, including two children of El-Zakzaky, were allegedly killed in the clash.
Since then, members of the group have been protesting across the country, calling for the El- Zakzaky’s release.
However, the last major protest of the group on July 22 led to the death of several persons, including a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Usman Umar and one Precious Owolabi, a corps member with Channels Television.
The protests and the deaths and destructions of properties that followed led the federal government to approach a Federal High Court in Abuja in July which proscribed the group.
On August 5, a Kaduna State High Court granted El-Zakzaky leave to travel abroad for medical attention. The court in granting the leave said Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat were to go on the medical leave under the supervision of the state.
Seven days after the court order, El-Zakzaky, departed Nigeria for India where he was meant to receive medical treatment. He travelled in company of his wife, Zeenat, amidst tight security.
Both of them however made a dramatic return to the country three days after arriving in India .
Daily Trust reports that the embattled religious leader was allowed to travel to India for medical treatment after an intervention by some influential traditional rulers.