The Nigerian Police have provided reasons for attacking members of the Shiite IMN group protesting the illegal incarceration of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the protesters were dispersed with tear gas and gun shots in Abuja as they marched in Garki area of the Nigerian capital.
In a statement by its Abuja spokesperson, Anjuguri Manzah, the police confirmed that 52 IMN members were arrested.
The police said the protesters were violent and that they “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.”
Read the full police statement below.
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.