Finally the Federal Government has secured a court order empowering it to formally outlaw the Islamic Movement of Nigeria popularly known as Shiites.
The federal government on Friday secured a court order to proscribe the Shiites organisation
This is even as its several protest continues in different parts of the country.
As at Friday, the group had an ongoing protest in the Federal Capital territory, Abuja.
According to Saturday Punch, Justice Nkeonye Maha issued the order in a ruling that also proscribed the group’s activities in any part of Nigeria as both unlawful and acts of terrorism and illegality/
The court further restrained “any person or group of persons” from participating in any form of activity involving or pertaining to the IMN “under any name or platform” in Nigeria.
The court then ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation “to publish the order proscribing the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in the official gazette and two national dailies.”
This followed an ex parte application made by the Federal Government.
In the ruling, the judge granted four prayers contained in the application argued by the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata
The IMN was however not represented by a lawyer on Friday as it was an ex parte hearing.
Ruling on Friday, the court made “a declaration that the activities of the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in any part of Nigeria amounts to acts of terrorism and illegality.”
The court said, “An order of this honourable court proscribing the existence and activities of the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in any part of Nigeria, under whatever form or guise either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called.
“An order restraining any person or group of persons from participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intention or otherwise of the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) under any other name or platform howsoever called or described in any part of Nigeria.
“An order directing the applicant (the AGF) to publish the order proscribing the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in the official gazette and two national dailies.”
The application had been filed before the court on Thursday, which was barely 72 hours after another protest by the group in Abuja which ended in a clash with the police.
You would recall that the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Federal Capital Territory Command, Usman Umar, and a Channels Television journalist, Precious Owolabi, were both killed in the clash with several others injured and properties destroyed.
The Shiites have for over two years now been regularly protesting and demanding the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat.
The couple has been in the custody of the Department of State Services since December 2015 after the bloody clash between members of the group and soldiers in the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The Federal Government in its application had accused the group of carrying out violent protests across the country leading to the loss of lives.
It alleged that the “aggressive activities” of members of the group had led to the loss of lives and destruction of private and public property in the Federal Capital Territory and other cities in northern Nigeria.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations in the FCT Command, Nyinnaya Adiogu, who deposed to the affidavit filed in support of the application, also claimed that the Shiites group consistently engaged in series of illegal activities, “which are inimical to the corporate interest of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The group was also accused of “nefarious activities”, murder, attacks on security agents and provocative preaching and hate speeches while working towards an agenda of creating an Islamic State in Nigeria.
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