The FCT Police Command on Monday confirmed that normalcy has returned to parts of Maitama following a violent clash between members of the El-Zakzaky-led Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and security operatives.
DAILY POST reports that a melee broke out following the refusal of security operatives to allow members of the sect to stage their daily sit-out in demand for the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, from detention.
However, in a statement issued to journalists in Abuja by its spokesman, Anjuguri Manzah, the FCT Police Command denied police culpability in the clash.
He further said that sequel to the restoration of normalcy in the nation’s capital, 115 members of the state were arrested and would be charged to court upon the conclusion of investigations.
The statement said: “The FCT Police Command restored normalcy at parts of Maitama following a violent protest by members of the El-Zakzaky Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN)who went on rampage on Monday, 16th April, 2018 and were attacking innocent citizens, disrupting business activities, obstructing traffic movement and smashing windscreen of innocent citizens’ vehicles in the affected areas.
“Following the unfortunate incident which also resulted in the destruction of some government and Police operational vehicles, the members of the Shiite group also injured twenty-two (22) police personnel during the protest.
“Exhibits recovered: catapults, iron bars, stones, ball bearings and pink head bands.
“One hundred and fifteen (115) members of the sect were arrested at the scene by Police operatives. Joint Team of detectives from the Command in conjunction with operatives from the IGP Monitoring Unit have commenced investigation into the incident. The arrested suspects will be charged to court upon the conclusion of investigation.
“The FCT Police Command hereby warn members of Shiites movement from further disrupting the peace, harmony and free flow of traffic in FCT.
“This is to also to urge the members of the public particularly parents not to allow their children or wards to be used as instrument of violence in any demonstration by any group that could jeopardise public peace and harmony.
It is therefore imperative to state that anyone caught in the act of violent demonstration or any act capable of causing the breach of public peace will be made to face the wrath of the law.
“Meanwhile, the Command wishes to state that contrary to speculations from some sections of the media, no life was lost in the violent protest as the Police operatives deployed to quell the protest were professional in handling the situation.”