Shiites clash with police over leader

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Shiites in a procession in Nigeria

Members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria(IMN), known as Shiites clashed with the police in a continued protest against to detention of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim Zakzaky.

The members clashed with the police at the Federal Secretariat Complex on Monday as they turned violent, also demanding the release of the wife of Zakzaky from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

The angry protesters grounded the Secretariat complex and took over the roads in the area, just a few metres from the Presidential Villa and the National Assembly complex.

They were reportedly armed with stones, daring the security operatives that were earlier deployed in the area to dislodge them.

A team of policemen swiftly arrived at the scene to disperse them with tear gas and water cannon, while the Shiites also destroyed a police vehicle.

In a face-off on April 23, the Shiites threw stones and other objects at the security operatives, causing damage to cars and buildings in the Maitama area of Abuja.

Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has continued to accuse the Federal Government of disobeying court orders over the continued detention of El-Zakzaky.

In a petition dated May 11, 2018, SERAP asked the United Nations to uphold Nigeria’s international obligations on the protection of the independence and integrity of the judiciary.

El-Zakzaky was detained after members of the Shiite group clashed with soldiers in Zaria in December 2015, an incident which led to the killing by soldiers of hundreds of people.

The Kaduna State government consequently charged El-Zakzaky and three other leaders of the Shiite group to court in April 2018.

They include Mallama Zeenah Ibraheem, Yakub Yahaya Katsina, and Sanusi Abdulkadir Koki.

The Shiite leaders were charged with eight counts bordering on culpable homicide, inciting disturbance and promoting unlawful assembly.

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