The Police has arraigned 38 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, popularly known as Shiites.
The Police had arrested 40 Shiites on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, for invading the National Assembly where they shot two policemen and burnt three vehicles.
They were arraigned before three Magistrates in Abuja on Thursday, July 12, 2019, for criminal conspiracy, mischief, unlawful assembly, obstructing a public official, disturbing public peace, rioting armed with deadly weapons and causing grievous hurt.
The Police alleged that the accused persons snatched a gun from one Inspector Ahmed Sani and caused grievous hurt on SP Umar Abdullahi, Insp. Ahmed Sani, Cpls. Mohammed Sarki, and Joseph Abutu.
The Shi’ite members were charged under sections 97, 326,180, 149,107, 243, 113 and 267 of the Penal Code.
Two other members of the sect were screened and released.
According to Punch, ten accused persons who were arraigned before Magistrates’ Court 2, Wuse Zone 6, presided over by Mohammed Ibrahim pleaded not guilty and were, however, granted bail.
Thirty-eight others who were arraigned before the Magistrates’ Court 3, Wuse Zone 6 and Court 13, Wuse Zone 3, presided over by Magistrates Ahmed Adejumo and Raphael Egbo, respectively, were remanded in prison custody, after pleading not guilty to the charges.
The matter was subsequently adjourned to July 18, 2019.
The Shiite protesters, who were demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who had been in custody since 2015, have continued to engage the police in a violent confrontation.
They threw stones and other objects at the security operatives who often respond with tear gas canisters and gunshots.