Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiites, have denied killing Deputy Commissioner of Police, Usman Umar and a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) serving with Channels Television, Precious Owolabi.
KanyiDaily had reported that the DCP and the 23-year-old NYSC member were among the six people reportedy feared dead during a clash between Shiites and Police in Abuja on Monday.
Speaking with reporters in Abuja, Abdullahi Musa, the Secretary of IMN’s Academic Forum, said the protest by the sect over government’s illegal detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, had been peaceful before armed policemen attempted to forcefully disperse them near the Federal Secretariat. He said:
“Security forces led by the Nigerian police shot at our members, and injured many others. I can confirm to you that, we have carried away six dead bodies belonging to our members.
“The security agents also lifted some corpses to unknown destinations. We are yet to account for some of our members who came out to protest today. We believe the number of casualties may increase before today ends.”
The IMN scribe also dismissed claims that members of the Islamic group provoked the police through undue confrontation before the shootings began.
“Our protest began from NITEL junction through Ahmadu Bello Way to the Federal Secretariat. On our arrival, we were still prepping to pray and disperse peacefully before live ammunitions were released at our members to forcefully send us home. We were unarmed. We couldn’t have confronted armed policemen,” he added.
He accused security operatives of masterminding the vandalisation of public properties and the killing of DCP Umar after the shootings to win public sympathy. He said:
“No member of our movement was involved in the setting ablaze of vehicles and the outpost of NEMA as alleged. But we know the authorities have been making frantic efforts to blackmail us and sway the public sympathy against IMN and Sheikh El-Zakzaky.
“We are aware the police have been sending paid agents in plain clothes to infiltrate our meetings and disturb public peace in the name of IMN. But the Nigerian people are already frustrated and oppressed by this administration. The government can’t get the public sympathy they desire, because its agents are committing crimes against humanity.”