Shiites protesters being arrested by the Nigeria Police (Photo Credit: @uche_ezeonye on Twitter)
In a statement released on Monday night to PREMIUM TIMES, the Nigerian Police spokesperson in Abuja, Anjuguri Manzah, said 115 members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) were taken into custody following Monday’s protests in Abuja.
It was gathered that the protesters – Shiites took to the streets to demand release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, whom the Nigerian government has kept in custody for over two years, without trial and despite court orders for his release.
Photos and videos which emerged on social media showed protesters hurling stones at police water cannon vehicles near Unity Park and Transcorp Hilton Hotel, as leaders of IMN said over 200 of their members were arrested during the protest, but the police gave a lesser figure in their account of the incident.
In the statement, the Police spokesman who is a deputy superintendent of police said; “One hundred and fifteen (115) members of the sect were arrested at the scene by police operatives,” adding that 22 officers were injured.
The spokesman who also debunked reports that some protesters were killed, said they recovered catapults, iron bars, stones, ball bearings and pink head bands from suspects.
“Contrary to speculations from some sections of the media, no life was lost in the violent protest,” Manzah said, adding that the police have commenced investigation.
“Joint team of detectives from the command” and “operatives from the IGP Monitoring Unit have commenced investigation into the incident. The arrested suspects will be charged to court upon the conclusion of investigation.”
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