Kaduna Government Orders Arrest and Prosecution of Shiite Spokesman, Musa
The Kaduna state government, at the weekend, ordered for the arrest and prosecution of Ibrahim Musa, the spokesman of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria ( IMN), otherwise known as Shiite.
The state government in a statement by the spokesman of Governor Nasir El-Rufai, Mr. Samuel Aruwan said "all security agencies in the state have been directed to vigorously enforce the law, and demonstrate clear resolve by arresting the said Ibrahim Musa, who is further advised to report himself to the nearest police station or any of the security agencies."
The state government had on Friday issued a declaration, outlawing the IMN, saying it is an illegal organisation.
However, in a reaction on Saturday, the spokesman of the movement, Ibrahim Musa described the ban as an infringement on their fundamental human rights, vowing that the group will challenge it in court.
But Aruwan said yesterday that Musa had identified himself as a spokesman of an illegal group and should be arrested and prosecuted.
According to the statement "one Ibrahim Musa who has owned up to being the spokesperson of an unlawful society, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN)" noting that a few hours after the IMN was outlawed, Musa admitted to the membership of an unlawful society and identified himself as its spokesman in widely publicized statements.
"An order declaring the IMN as an unlawful society in Kaduna State went into effect on Friday, 7th October 2016. Violation of this order attracts penalty of imprisonment for seven years or a fine or both, according to sections 97a and 97b of the Penal Code."
The statement noted that "a few hours after the commencement of the Order, the said Ibrahim Musa admitted to membership of an unlawful society and identified himself as its spokesman in widely publicized statements. This is deemed as a deliberate and determined affront to the order, and the law has to take its course.
"The Commissioner of Police has been directed to ensure the arrest to enable prompt prosecution by the Kaduna State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice.
"All security agencies in the state have been directed to vigorously enforce the law, and demonstrate clear resolve by arresting the said Ibrahim Musa, who is further advised to report himself to the nearest police station or any of the security agencies.
"Government cannot allow the laws of the state to be wantonly tested and confronted by any one or group who might have the mistaken belief that they are above the law."
The statement reiterated that government fully respects freedom of religion and other rights as guaranteed by Sections 38 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution, pointing out however that the same Constitution imposes an obligation on government to secure the state and protect every citizen against infringement of their rights by others.
"Drawing on powers vested by Section 45(1) of the Constitution, and Section 97a of the Penal Code, the governor signed an order declaring the IMN as an unlawful society in the interest of public order and to protect the rights and freedoms of all persons in Kaduna State" the statement explained.