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Nigerian govt set to declare Shi’ites a terrorist group

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The Federal Government is likely to soon pronounce the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) popularly called Shiites’, as a terror group, and ban their activities.

This follows an ex-parte order issued on Friday, by the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The Attorney General of the Federation had on Thursday filed the ex parte order on behalf of the Federal Government.

The order was, however, issued on Friday by Justice Nkeonye Maha, who described the activities of the Shiite organisation in any part of Nigeria “as acts of terrorism and illegality”.

The court further 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”, as part of the processes to complete the proscription.

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The only respondent listed on the application was the IMN, whose lawyers were not present in the court, as at when the order was issued.

The court granted all four prayers sought in by Federal Government In the ex parte application marked FHC/ABJ/CS/876/2019, after the Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Dayo Apata, argued the application.

The order read; “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.”

Recall that there have been calls by many citizens for the group’s activities to be proscribed following their several protests in Abuja, one of which recently turned violent.

The group has been on rampage protesting the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, by the Federal Government.

Their recent protest in Abuja that led to the killing of a Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Federal Capital Territory Command, Usman Umar, and a Channels Television journalist, Precious Owolabi.

It is believed that with the latest development coming from the court’s order, the government, and security agencies are likely to change their hitherto stance of not engaging the Shiites whenever they embark on such protests.

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