The Kaduna State Government has ordered the arrest and prosecution of Ibrahim Musa, the spokesperson of the Shiite group, Islamic Movement of Nigeria.
Mr. Musa speaks for and signs press statements for the group which was banned by the Kaduna State Government on Friday.
Mr. Musa, after the announcement of the ban, signed a statement on behalf of the group saying the IMN would seek redress in court.
The IMN accused the Kaduna government of injustice especially as the soldiers who killed over 300 members of the group within three days in December last year had not been prosecuted.
The extrajudicial killing of the Shiites has been condemned by local and international groups including Amnesty International. The Army justified its actions by saying the Shiites blocked a major road in a plot to kill Nigeria’s Army chief, Tukur Buratai. The IMN has denied that allegation.
A panel set up the Kaduna government to investigate the crisis was boycotted by the IMN which demanded that its leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, be released first.
Mr. El-Zakzaky is still being held by the federal government without any court order.
Read the Kaduna government’s full statement below;
The Kaduna State Government has ordered the arrest and subsequent prosecution of one Ibrahim Musa who has owned up to being the spokesperson of an unlawful society, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
An order declaring the IMN as an unlawful society in Kaduna State went into effect on Friday, 7th October 2016. Violation of this order attracts penalty of imprisonment for seven years or a fine or both, according to sections 97a and 97b of the Penal Code.
A few hours after the commencement of the Order, the said Ibrahim Musa admitted to membership of an unlawful society and identified himself as its spokesman in widely publicized statements. This is deemed as a deliberate and determined affront to the order, and the law has to take its course.
The Commissioner of Police has been directed to ensure the arrest to enable prompt prosecution by the Kaduna State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice.
All security agencies in the state have been directed to vigorously enforce the law, and demonstrate clear resolve by arresting the said Ibrahim Musa, who is further advised to report himself to the nearest police station or any of the security agencies.
Government cannot allow the laws of the state to be wantonly tested and confronted by anyone or group who might have the mistaken belief that they are above the law.
The Kaduna State Government wishes to reiterate that it fully respects freedom of religion and other rights as guaranteed by Sections 38 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution. The same Constitution imposes an obligation on government to secure the state and protect every citizen against infringement of their rights by others.
Drawing on powers vested by Section 45(1) of the Constitution, and Section 97a of the Penal Code, the governor signed an order declaring the IMN as an unlawful society in the interest of public order and to protect the rights and freedoms of all persons in Kaduna State.