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El-Zakzaky: Police arrest 52 Shiite protesters with petrol-bomb

El-Zakzaky: Police attack Shiite protesters again in Abuja

Police said the protesters attacked Abuja residents and security operatives with stones.

The Abuja Police Command arrested 52 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria after the group staged another protest in the Federal Capital Territory on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, demanding the release of its leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

According to a statement signed by the command's spokesperson, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, the protesters had attacked citizens and police operatives during the protest on Wednesday prompting the arrests.

DSP Manzah warned that the command will not allow the group to disrupt the peace of the FCT and promised to prosecute the arrested suspects.

His statement read, "Following the violent protest by members of the El-Zakzaky Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) group who went on rampage and were attacking innocent citizens including Police operatives on Wednesday 10th January, 2018, the FCT Police Command has arrested some members of the sect and recovered some bottles of improvised petrol-bomb, stones and catapult used by members of the sect to attack police operatives and damage police operational vehicles.

"It is pertinent to state that the unlawful action of members of the sect which started on Monday 8th January, 2018 is constituting a serious security threat to the peace of the Federal Capital Territory and at the same time disrupting innocent citizens from going about their lawful businesses.

"In view of the current security situation in the Country, the Command wishes to unequivocally state that while it will continue to be professional in the discharge of its constitutional and statutory roles of the protection of lives and property of the good people of FCT; and equally recognise the rights of citizens to express their lawful grievances, the Command will not fold its arms and watch some persons hold the capital city to ransom by disrupting government and legitimate business activities.

"In view of the foregoing, the Command wants to state that any person or group of persons arrested for violating the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution while registering their protest will be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the appropriate section(s) of the law.

"Meanwhile, the fifty-two (52) members of the El-Zakzaky group arrested by police operatives during today 10th January, 2018 violent protest that left some policemen with injury will be charged to court upon the conclusion of the investigation."

Clash between protesters and police

On Wednesday, security operatives reportedly encountered the protesters at Moshood Abiola Road on Area 2 junction of Abuja after they had marched from Garki Area 10 heading towards Area 1 chanting "Free Zakzaky!"

The protesters urged the operatives to allow them carry on with the peaceful protest, but were soon attacked with tear gas and warning gunshots.

This comes just two days after the protesters were similarly attacked with tear gas while trying to gain entrance into the National Assembly complex on Monday, January 8.

El-Zakzaky's imprisonment

El-Zakzaky has been in custody for two years after the Nigerian Army raided his residence in Zaria and killed hundreds of his followers, including three of his sons in December 2015.

This was a direct consequence of his followers' clash with the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai.

Despite the court order of Justice Gabriel Kolawole calling for his release on December 2, 2016, after he ruled that the government's justification of "holding him for his own protection" is insufficient, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria is still in government custody with his wife.

Curated: Meets Media.ng

Local AFP Photo

Local AFP is a Reporter at Meets Media, a digital journalist who reports on News and some other section of our website.

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