Kaduna  Government Orders Arrest, Prosecution  of Shiite Spokesman

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By John Shiklam in Kaduna

The Kaduna State Government  has ordered the arrest and  prosecution of Ibrahim Musa, the  spokesman of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiite.

The state government in a statement by the spokesman of Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, said:

“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.”

The state government last Friday issued a declaration outlawing the IMN, saying it is an illegal organisation.

However, in a reaction last Saturday, the spokesman of the movement, Musa, had described the ban as an infringement on their fundamental human rights, vowing that the group would  challenge it in court.

But Aruwan  said yesterday that  Musa had identified himself as a spokesman of an illegal group and should  be arrested and prosecuted.

According to the statement  “One Ibrahim Musa who has owned up to being the spokesperson of an unlawful society IMN,” noting that a few hours after the IMN was outlawed, Musa admitted to the membership of an unlawful society and identified himself as its spokesman in widely publicised statements.

“An order declaring the IMN as an unlawful society in Kaduna State went into effect on Friday, October 7, 2016. Violation of this order attracts penalty of imprisonment for seven years or a fine or both, according to sections 97a and 97b of the Penal Code.”

The statement noted: “The state Commissioner of Police has been directed to ensure the arrest to enable prompt prosecution by the 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 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 any one or group who might have the mistaken belief that they are above the law.”

The state  statement  reiterated that government fully respects freedom of religion and other rights as guaranteed by Sections 38 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution, pointing out however that 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 statement explained.

ng in place strong prudential regulations that would continue to shield the banks and protect depositors,” the CBN governor added.