Ibrahim Musa, a spokesperson of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, has denied responsibility for the shooting death of a deputy commissioner of police during the protest by the group in Abuja on Monday.
The Shi’ite sect said that its members don’t carry arms and accused the Nigerian police of killing eleven of its members in the protests which turned violent in the heart of the nation’s capital city.
“Abuja today yet again witnessed one of the worst cases of blatant trampling of the rights of citizens ever seen in the Federal Capital, when joint security forces consisting of both uniformed men and officers of the Nigerian Police Force and others in mufti, unleashed their fury on a Free Zakzaky protest by members of the Islamic Movement,” Mr. Musa wrote in an e-mailed statement to The Trent.
“The procession, attended by several thousands of persons, including very young children, the aged, women and the physically challenged, met with an extreme rage indicative of deep seated animosity the Nigerian authorities bear for the Movement.
“What actually happened was that the protesters started the procession from NITEL junction and on getting to federal secretariat the police cordoned off the road and started firing at them.
“A lot of people have been shot but for now we can only confirm 11 deaths, but several are injured, the figure for now stood at 30. Though we are aware of the fact that the security agents have been going around taking off those they killed from the streets.
“Even some seriously injured persons that were taken to Abuja University teaching Hospital Gwagwalada; the police went there and took away about 11 people they shot during the protest.
“We strongly dispute the claim by the police that the protesters shot at them because throughout our processions we have not been carrying any arms right from 2015 to date. It was also the police who shot at the Reporter of Channels TV, another indication that many innocent people were shot at by the police, including some of their own.
“In this era so social media the brutality displayed by the police today has been captured with some pictures showing the police setting up the bonfires and there are videos that captured the police carting away their victims,” the statement ended.
Police Confirm Death Of Senior Police Officer, Arrest Of 54 Suspects
The Nigeria Police Force, in a statement to The Trent, has confirmed the death of a deputy commissioner of police, Umar Usman during the protest staged by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, the largest Shi’ite sect in the country.
Signed by Frank Mba, the spokesperson of the police force, and released on Monday, evening, the police says that the late Usman Umar was shot by the Shi’ite protesters.
“Another violent protest by members of the El-Zazakky group involving over three thousand (3000) of its followers took place today, 22nd July, 2019 at about 12:30pm within the Central Business District of Abuja,” the statement read.
“The heavily armed protesters defying all sense of decency violently attacked innocent citizens and Police personnel on duty. In the process, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, FCT Command, DCP Usman A.K Umar, was shot and fatally injured by the protesters.
“The officer who was immediately rushed to the hospital died moments later while receiving treatment.
“Also, two (2) Assistant Superintendents of Police and a Staff of Channels Television sustained serious injuries and are currently receiving treatment.
“The violent protesters also razed down a National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Response Post close to the Federal Secretariat, Abuja and two (2) vehicles.
“Meanwhile, the Police have arrested fifty-four (54) suspects in connection with the incidents. The suspects are undergoing interrogation and will be arraigned in court as soon as possible.
“The IGP, while commiserating with the family of the late DCP, condemns the incident and warns that Enough-is-Enough as the Force and the nation at large will not continue to suffer losses on account of reckless and lawless persons and groups in the society,” the statement ended.