– Shiites in Nigeria has raised alarm over alleged plots by the Federal Government (FG) to pervert justice
– The sect claims that the plot by the FG to try its members secretly is a ploy to deprive them of a fair hearing
An alarm has been raised by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), following news that its members will be tried secretly.
The Shiites have berated the FG over what it terms as “the secret trial of its members at the Kaduna central prison”.
Breaking Times reports that the group claimed 191 of its members arrested following their clash with the Nigerian army in Zaria in December last year were tried secretly on trumped up charges of illegal assembly, causing bodily harm, public disturbances and possession of firearms.
In a statement released and signed by Ibrahim Musa, the sect described the secret trial as “unconstitutional and illegal”, saying that the charges of being in possession of firearms brought against their members were worrisome.
The IMN believes that the FG is trying to pervert justice
“The Islamic movement objects to the way and manner the court had its first sitting in prison. The court ought to have offered the general public its reason for the unusual sitting in prison, but it did not.
“For the court to hide under the guise of ‘security reasons’ for its sitting in prison is a travesty of justice, since justice as they say, should not only be done, but seen to be done.
“We object to the trial becoming a secret trial because under the law, trial of the charges against the brothers of the Islamic movement should be held in an open court where the public can witness it.
“What happened yesterday in Kaduna Prison is akin to a secret trial where the public was denied entry to the court proceedings.
“But more worrisome to us is the charge of possession of firearms labeled against the brothers. The prosecutor even said a large cache of arms was recovered from some of the brothers that had to be taken to Lagos for expert analysis. We believe this is a trumped-up charge brought up against the Islamic Movement in Nigeria,” the statement partly read.
Shiites agitating for the release of their leader- Sheikh Zakzaky
“The fact that weapons are just being brought up for the first time in this matter suggests that the authorities are trying by all means to frame up charges and produce manufactured evidence against the Islamic movement.
“However, we believe the public will not be deceive with this concocted lie, because brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement have never and will never carry or possess any weapon,” the Shiites informed.
On Wednesday, February 10, a Kaduna magistrate’s court ordered 189 Shiite Muslims to be detained pending trial following the Zaria massacre. The members of Shiites movement were being imprisoned for inciting public disorder, the unlawful blockage of state and federal roads, and also the illegal possession of dangerous arms.
Sources report that the court session took place in Kaduna amid tight security within the prison yard.
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