SWITZERLAND, JULY 23 – The Islamic Movement of Nigeria(IMN), umbrella body for Shiite Muslims in Nigeria has denied culpability in the killing of a Deputy Commissioner of Police and a young reporter from Channels TV during a clash with the police on Monday.
The group absolved itself of the murder of the Deputy commissioner of Police in charge of operations in the FCT, DCP Usman Musa, saying that he may have been a victim of “friendly fire”.
In an interview on Tuesday, the spokesman of the IMN, Ibrahim Musa reiterated that members of the movement do not carry weapons so they could not have been responsible for the senior policeman’s death.
According to him, several members of the movement died during the protest as a result of the violence unleashed on them by security agents.
He said “a quick analysis of images and video clips showed that the Free Zakzaky procession was peacefully progressing prior to the brutal crackdown. It also clearly showed that the protesters weren’t bearing arms and traffic was moving smoothly without hindrance.
“The images also showed the police, armed to the teeth, intent in stopping the movement of the protesters. Few other policemen and plain cloth security agents were seen piling used tyres for use to set bonfires. By the time the police struck, about a dozen members of the Islamic Movement had been killed. The police were seen picking the corpses to an undisclosed location, perhaps for mass burial.
“Also shot were a journalist with the Channels TV and their colleague, an Deputy Commissioner of Police, whom photographs showed was struck from the back of his head with the bullet exit in front, an indication that he was a victim of “friendly fire.”
“As if to hide this fact, the late policeman was hurriedly buried without any form of postmortem examination, which would have revealed the source of the bullet” he said.
Meanwhile, police said 54 Shia members who were arrested on Monday would soon be prosecuted.
“The suspects are undergoing interrogation and will be arraigned in court as soon as possible,” a police statement read.
The Shia movement condemned the arrest of some of its members from hospital beds while receiving treatment for bullet wounds sustained during the bloody clash.
“Some seriously injured persons that were taken to Abuja University Teaching Hospital in Gwagwalada; the police went there and took away about 11 people they shot during the protest,” a spokesman for the group Ibrahim Musa said.