Molly Kilete, Abuja and Christopher Oji
Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shi’ites, yesterday staged a protest in Lagos, demanding the immediate and unconditional release of their leader, lbrahim El-Zakzaky from detention.
The group, which started the protest from Maryland matched through some streets in lkeja G.R.A and ended at the office of Lagos lawyer and rights activist, Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) on Adekunle Fajuyi street.
The protesters marched along Oduduwa crescent, Ladipo and Obateye streets, writing inscriptions such as “Release El- Zakzaky, “El – Zakzaky has been poisoned” on the fence of some buildings in the area.
It was gathered that men of the police were on standby at the scene, so as to prevent breakdown of law and order in the area.
Lagos State police public relations officer, Bala Elkana, who confirmed the incident, said that the protest was, indeed, peaceful.
“The protest started around 10am at Maryland and terminated at Falana’s office on Adekunle Fajuyi Street. You know that Falana is their lawyer.
“No arrest was made since it was a peaceful protest.”
He, however, did not say if the protesters sought any permission from the command before they embarked on the protest or not.
Meanwhile, members of the Shi’ites clashed with the police yesterday in a protest to demand the unconditional release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
On Tuesday, the group invaded the National Assembly (NASS) complex where they destroyed vehicles and injured police officers.
On Wednesday, they carried their protest to the headquarters of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). And yesterday, they massed at the federal secretariat to continue their protest.
The protesters, who assembled at the federal secretariat in the morning, sent shivers down the spines of workers and visitors in the area as the police released several gunshots into the air and fired canister of tear gas to disperse them.
Over 50 of the protesters were arrested by the police who succeeded in dispersing the protesters.
Workers, visitors and other road users had a hectic day assessing the road, following the sound of gunshots in the area. Petty traders and food vendors ran for their lives, abandoning their wares.
No life was lost and nobody was injured during the protest said the FCT police command public relations officer, Anjugurl Manzah, in a telephone interview with Daily Sun.
He said the “police did not give them the room to carry out their usual attack of destroying people’s vehicles and injuring innocent persons.
“Over 50 protesters were arrested while 38, out of the 40 suspects arrested over Tuesday’s protest were arraigned in court.
He said that some of the suspects were granted bail with conditions while 10 others where remanded in prison till July 18.
He further stated that the 50 persons arrested during yesterday’s protest would be arraigned in court after screening.