Police Clashes With Shiite Members In Abuja, One Dead

Clash between members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the Nigerian police have forced Protesters to be forcefully dispersed in Abuja, leading to the death of an IMN member.

“He was shot dead while trying to gain access to the Unity Fountain alongside members of the sect,” the witness said. The incident which occurred at the Unity Fountain, beside Transcorp hotel, in Abuja, according to Premium Times saw police firing tear gas on the protesters who are believed to be Shiites demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky who has been detained without trial for over two years.

This came a few days after the police said they banned all protests, peaceful or not, at the Unity Fountain. However, the police denied outlawing public protest , stating that “public protest or procession anywhere in Nigeria” is lawful insofar they are peaceful

But the force said it will not condone any protest or procession on public highways and roads inhibiting or disallowing public freedom and right of way. “Peaceful Public protest/procession is an integral part of democratic norms in as much as it conforms with the rule of law and public order,”  police spokesman Don Awunah said. “The Nigeria Police Force recognises the constitutional rights of every law abiding citizen to express his or her view through public protest/procession and other legitimate means.”