From: Samuel Bello, Abuja
Security operatives, on Monday, dispersed supporters of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shi’ites, with tear gas, who had stormed the Abuja office of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in protest of the continued detention of their leader, El-Zakzaky.
The police, having failed to disperse the protesters with water, resorted to using teargas to force the protesters to retreat.
They also mounted a road block to avoid fatalities and seeing there was no way to remain at NHRC, the Shi’ites members dispersed.
While retreating, the protesters lambasted the government for denying them freedom to carry out a peaceful protest which they termed “Free El-Zakzaky’ protest.
In unison, the Shi’ite members insisted they will continually carry out peaceful protests to demand the unconditional release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky who has stayed over 18months in captivity.
El-Zakzaky and his wife were arrested on December 14, 2015, following the bloody clash between members of his group and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna state on the allegation of cold blooded killing of over 1000 civilians.
On December 2, 2016, a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the release of the leader and awarded a cumulative sum of 50million Naira to the Zakzakys. The court also ordered the AGF and IGP to give him a new security and accommodation in any part Kaduna or Northern region that they prefer within 45 days.
The judgement is yet to be obeyed and the Shi’ite leader is still in custody despite the courts judgement.