The presidency on Tuesday threw its weight behind the approach by the Nigerian Police on containing protesting members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, who went on rampage in Abuja on Monday causing mayhem in the Federal Capital Territory.
Popularly known as Shi’ite, the group had a collission with the Police as a Deputy commissioner of Police and a Corps member were among those reportedly killed.
They were protesting the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzakky, despite a court order on his release.
Speaking during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, commended the police for containing the situation.
He said, “I tell you despite what happened yesterday, if the police had responded with greater force, you know we would not be talking about what we are talking now.
“A deputy commissioner of police was killed. Yes, very sad, that is one life just like any other life. He did not deserve to die in service to the country, but if the police had responded in similar fashion, you would have been talking of rivers of blood in Abuja now.
“I still believe there was some restraint yesterday despite what happened and personally I still commend the police for showing that restraint.”
On hy the religious leader is still being held in custody, the President’s spokesman said the Attorney-General of the Federation at the time, Abubakar Malami (SAN), may have had his reasons for doing so since the government had the right to appeal the bail.
He said, “I know that the immediate past AGF in whose purview it was to make pronouncements on that, address the issue. If bail is granted and another case subsists and there is an immediate filing of appeal, you have to wait till it is dispensed with. So, that is a legal matter which is outside my purview but as a layman, an unlearned man as lawyers would call us, we know that until all cases are dispensed with, you don’t say that it has been concluded.”
Adesina said the matter had since been taken before a court in Kaduna State and the bail hearing would come up next Monday.
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