Kaduna State govt. orders arrest of Shiite’s spokesperson

Kaduna State govt. orders arrest of Shiite’s spokesperson

Sunday, October 9, 2016 7:25 pm

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State

The Kaduna State Government on Sunday ordered  arrest and prosecution Mr Ibrahim Musa, the spokesman for Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, the Islamic sect popularly known as Shiite.

The State government said the order follwed claims by Musa that he is the spokesperson of “an unlawful society,” the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).

It will be recalled that the government had issued an order declaring the IMN as an unlawful society in Kaduna State on Friday, 7th October 2016.

It had also indicated that violation of the order attracts penalty of imprisonment for seven years or a fine or both, according to sections 97a and 97b of the Penal Code.

But a few hours after the commencement of the order, Musa who has been speaking and issuing statements on behalf IMN since the clash of the sect with the soldiers in December last year,  issued a widely publicized statement, denouncing the proscription of the group.

He described the action of Kaduna State government as unconstitutional, vowing that IMN will challenge it in court.

Obviously, the Kaduna State government did not find the repudiation of its order by the IMN spokesperson funny.

Indeed, it described the action of Musa as “a deliberate and determined affront to the order” vowing that “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 said in a statement.

Defending the action,  Kaduna State Government said while 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,” the Government said.

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