Police charge 38 shiite for possession of firearms, destruction of property

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The police have arraigned thirty eight members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria known as Shiite on charges of unlawful assembly, destruction of public property, obstruction of public servants from lawful duty, possession of firearms and Arson.

The suspects were arraigned in three different courts in Abuja.

According to court papers, the suspects and others at large armed with weapons forced their way into the National Assembly, shot two police officers and wounded four others while trying to prevent them from entering the National Assembly.

They were also accused of burning down vehicles and a police post in the National Assembly.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

While twenty eight of the suspects were “granted bail with conditions”, ten suspects were remanded in prison custody

“Forty members of the sect were arrested on July 9 for a violent protest”, according to the police in a statement

The protesters are demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

Mr El-Zakzaky has been arrested since December 2015 after soldiers clamped down on his supporters and killed at least 347 of them. The soldiers accused the Shiite group of blocking a major road that was to be used by the Chief of Army staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai.

The killing of the Shiites has been condemned by local and international rights groups.

Since the December 2015 incident, Mr El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenah have been in detention initially without trial for about a year. They were eventually charged with murder for the death of a soldier during the December 2015 incident.

 

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