Just In: Police arraign 38 Shi’ites for criminal conspiracy, rioting

The police, on Thursday, arraigned 38 out of the 40 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria arrested on Tuesday for invading the National Assembly where they shot two police officers and torched three vehicles.

They were arraigned before three Magistrates in Abuja, 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 Insp. 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 sect members were screened and released.

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 Ralphael Egbo, respectively, were remanded in prison custody, after pleading not guilty to the charges.

The matter was subsequently adjourned to July 18, 2019.

But while the arraignment was going on, Shi’ite members again clashed with the police at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.

The protesters, who were demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who had been in custody since 2015, engaged the police in a violent confrontation.

They threw stones and other objects at the security operatives who in turn, responded with tear gas canisters and gunshots.

Five Shi’ite members were consequently apprehended as the others regrouped at another location to continue with their protest.

Our correspondent reports that the confrontation sparked panic as workers, commuters and motorists fled in fear to avoid being caught in the melee.



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