POLICE ARRAIGNS 38 SHI’ITE MEMBERS; 28 GRANTED BAIL, 10 REMAIN IN CUSTODY

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Thirty-eight members of the Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky-led Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) 28 of them were on Thursday arraigned before two magistrate courts by the Federal Capital Territory Police Command.

They were arraigned before the courts located at Zone 2 and Zone 8 in Abuja.

28 of them were granted bail with conditions by Magistrate Ahmed Ndajiw and Magistrate Mohammed Ibrahim at Wuse Zone 6 court.

10 according to the Magistrate in Wuse Zone 2 are to be kept in a conducive facility outside Police cell.

The Police said two out of the 40 that were arrested were screened out during investigation.

Their arraignment came after some members of the group were arrested on Tuesday following their forceful invasion of the National Assembly.

Their invasion left nine Policemen injured and several vehicles destroyed.

 The First Information Report was read in English and interpreted in Hausa language to the defendants at court 13 of the Magistrate Court in Wuse Zone 2.

 They were charged with the following offences; criminal conspiracy,  mischief,  unlawful Assembly, obstruction of public servant in the discharge of duty, rioting armed with deadly weapons, causing grievous hurt, disturbance of public peace, assault or criminal force to determine public servant from discharge of his duty contrary to section 97, 326, 149, 107, 243, 113, and 264 of the Penal Code.

 The report further reads: “That on 9/ 7/2019 at about 1300hrs, a team of Policemen led by DPO National Assembly Police station SP Umar Sabo Abdullahi, while in the performance of their official duty, they came across you and others at large who formed a common intention and were behaving in a riotous manner and in possession of dangerous weapons.

 “The DPO in the performance of his lawful duty ordered you to disperse but you forced yourselves into the national assembly, burnt and destroyed many vehicles. You equally snatched a gun from one Inspr. Ahmed Sani and caused grievous hurt on the following Police Officers;  SP Umar Sabo Abdullahi, lnspr. Ahmed Sani, Cpl Mohammed Sarki and Cpl Joseph Abutu.

 “You also destroyed Police Post at the National Assembly, building of National Assembly and also shot at two Police Officers who are now lying critically ill at the hospital. You thereby committed the above offences.”

 The 10 defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.

 The Defence counsel, I.A Ishaq urged the court to grant them bail and also discharge and acquit the case on the ground that they denied the allegations.

 He said: “All the defendants denied allegation and in view of their denial, we humbly apply for their bail. We also urge the court to discharge and acquit them on the ground that they are minor and students from various schools. Nine out of  the ten defendants are minor and students. The adult amongst them is 51 years old.”

But the Prosecution counsel, D.F. Abah argued that being a minor should not be an excuse to commit any crime. He also said it has been observed that the group make conscious effort to use minor to cause havoc.

 He said they use minor and then argue when the case is brought to court that they are minor.

 He urged the court to remand them in facilties where minors are kept pending the determination of trial.

 The Magistrate, Senior Magistrate Egbe Raphael Joshua  after listening to both parties denied the defendants bail.

 He  adjourned the case to July 18, 2019, to rule on the bail application. Until then, the minors according to him will be kept in a conducive facility outside the police cell.

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