SaharaReporters has learned that the Kaduna State government, on the order Governor Nasir El-Rufai, has began witch hunting and calling for the arrest of Ibrahim Musa who is the spokesman for a peaceful Shiite group the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN). It will be recalled that on Friday, Mr. El-Rufai banned IMN saying that it was an “unlawful society.”
It will be recalled that the Shiite group IMN has been placing intense pressure on the Kaduna State government and the Nigerian army following a brutal massacre they orchestrated against the group in December 2015. In December 2015, the Nigerian army murdered more than 350 peacefully protesting Shiites in the city of Zaria in Kaduna State before dumping them in a mass grave to cover up their crime. The Zaria massacre lasted for three days and has been well documented by human rights organizations and the media.
In addition to the murder of hundreds of unarmed civilians, the Nigerian army laid siege to the home of IMN leader Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky. During the brutal raid of his home they murdered several members of Sheikh Zakzaky’s family, shot his wife, shot him several times, and popped one of his eyes out of its socket. The army then abducted him and the Nigerian government has held him in custody, without trial, since that day.
Mr. Musa, one of the most public faces of IMN since the unlawful incarceration of Sheikh Zakzaky, has been declared wanted by the Kaduna State government today. According to the statement issued by Mr. El-Rufai’s spokesman Samuel Aruwan, “the Kaduna State Government has ordered the arrest and subsequent prosecution of one Ibrahim Musa who owned up to being the spokesman for the unlawful society.”
The order issued by the government states that “violation of this order attracts a penalty of imprisonment for seven years or a fine or both.”
It added that, “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.”
This arrest order follows a series of repressive tactics the Kaduna Government, and Mr. El-Rufai, have deployed in attempt to silence Shiites calling for justice for the massacre and abduction of their religious leader.
The full press release can be read below:
Kaduna orders prosecution of unlawful society’s “spokesperson”
The Kaduna State Government has ordered the arrest and subsequent prosecution of one Ibrahim Musa who has owned up to being the spokesperson of an unlawful society, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
An order declaring the IMN as an unlawful society in Kaduna State went into effect on Friday, 7th October 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.
A few hours after the commencement of the Order, the said Ibrahim Musa admitted to membership of an unlawful society and identified himself as its spokesman in widely publicized statements. This is deemed as a deliberate and determined affront to the order, and 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 any one or group who might have the mistaken belief that they are above the law.
The Kaduna State Government wishes to reiterate that 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.
Special Assistant to the Governor (Media and Publicity)
9th October 2016