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Saturday, 27 July 2019

Court declares Shi’ites as terrorist group, orders proscription

Court declares Shi’ites as terrorist group, orders proscription

Kaduna Government seeks death sentence for 50 Shiite members

The Federal High Court in Abuja has declared the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, otherwise known as Shiites, a terrorist organisation and ordered its proscription.

The order by Justice Nkeonye Maha followed an ex parte application by the Federal Government, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/876/2019, was filed in the name of the Attorney-General of the Federation, according to a report by Saturday PUNCH.

“The Federal Government had filed the application before the court on Thursday, barely 72 hours after a protest by members of the group in Abuja led to a bloody clash between them and the police,” the report said.

It said the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations in the FCT Command, Nyinnaya Adiogu, who deposed to the affidavit filed in support of the application, also alleged that the Shiites engaged in series of illegal activities, “which are inimical to the corporate interest of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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Justice Maha granted the four prayers contained in the application shortly after the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Dayo Apata, argued the application on Friday, the report said.

The court, according to Saturday PUNCH, restrained “any person or group of persons” from participating in any form of activities involving or concerning the IMN “under any name or platform” in Nigeria.

To complete the process of the proscription of the group, the court ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation “to publish the order proscribing the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in the official gazette and two national dailies.”

It quoted the judge as giving the order following orders:
. A declaration that the activities of the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in any part of Nigeria amounts to acts of terrorism and illegality.

. An order of this honourable court proscribing the existence and activities of the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in any part of Nigeria, under whatever form or guise either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called.

. An order restraining any person or group of persons from participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intention or otherwise of the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) under any other name or platform howsoever called or described in any part of Nigeria.

. An order directing the applicant (the AGF) to publish the order proscribing the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in the official gazette and two national dailies.

The IMN was the sole respondent to the application but the group was not represented by a lawyer on Friday since it was an ex parte hearing.

The report noted that “the Shiites have for over two years been regularly taking to the streets particularly in Abuja to demand the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat.

“The couple has been in the custody of the Department of State Services since December 2015 after a bloody clash between members of the group and soldiers in the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State.”

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