The Police Command in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Monday, April 16, said it arrested 115 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria ( IMN) during a violent protest in Abuja.
The police also debunked stories in the social media that some lives were lost.
“No life was lost in the violent protest as the police operatives deployed to quell the protest were professional in handling the situation,” police spokesman, DSP Anjuguri Manzah said.
The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN ) reports that the leader of the sect, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky was arrested by the authorities after a clash with the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff in December 2015.
NAN also reports that the Shiites had organised several protests across the country demanding the release of their leader.
DSP Anjuguri Manzah, in a statement, said the protesters also injured 22 policemen and destroyed government and police vehicles during the protest. He said that the protesters also attacked innocent citizens, disrupted business activities, obstructed traffic and smashed windscreen of vehicles in the affected areas.
Manzah said that items recovered from them are: Catapults, Iron bars, Stones, Ball bearings and Pink head bands.
He said said that a Joint Team of detectives from the command in conjunction with operatives from the Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Unit, have commenced investigation into the incident.
“The arrested suspects will be charged to court upon the conclusion of investigation. The FCT police command hereby warns members of Shiites movement from further disrupting the peace, harmony and free flow of traffic in FCT," he said.
He advised members of the public and parents not to allow their children or wards, to be used as instrument of violence in any demonstration by any group. The spokesman warned that anyone caught in the act of violent demonstration or any act capable of causing the breach of public peace would be made to face the wrath of the law.
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Recall that NAIJ.com earlier reported that the incident which occurred at the Unity Fountain, beside Transcorp hotel, in Abuja, saw police firing tear gas on the protesters who are believed to be Shiites demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky who has been detained without trial for over two years.
This came a few days after the police said they banned all protests, peaceful or not, at the Unity Fountain.
However, the police denied outlawing public protest , stating that “public protest or procession anywhere in Nigeria” is lawful insofar they are peaceful.
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