The Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky led Shi’ites group, otherwise known as Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has denied responsibility for the killing of a Mobile Police Officer in Kaduna on Thursday, saying the police and some hired thugs were responsible for the act.
The movement which addressed a press conference in Kaduna on Saturday said allegations levelled against its members protesting the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Zakzaky was not true.
Addressing the press on behalf of the IMN leadership, Secretary of its Media Forum, Abdulmumin Giwa, said since the existence of the movement in Nigeria under the leadership of Sheikh El Zakzaky, it has never resorted to use of violence, despite series of persecution meted on its members across the country.
According to him, “We have it on records that Senior Police Officers had met thugs called Civilian JTF a day before the incident at a place called Kinkinau Quarters of Kaduna and plotted this callous and unfortunate murders to be carried out when we come out to conduct our free Zakzaky processions.
“This was to discredit us in order to turn the tables against us. Thus the reported killing of the policeman was a handiwork of some desperate people out to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. It was the result of a joint handiwork of policemen and thugs.
“Furthermore, the state Police Public Relations Officer was overheard a day before saying that there was going to be war the following day, and that he would personally take an AK47 and come out. Another police officer had warned friends living around the Central Market, Tudun Wada, Rigasa that the police would engage on some special operations the following day and that it would be best to avoid such places.
“There are also reports reaching us that indicate that Police, in an unholy alliance with thugs called Civilian JTF, have planned a house-to-house attacks on certain targeted members of the Islamic Movement living in Kaduna from yesterday. According to our sources, the police had assured the thugs of state backing and cover.
Giwa explained that: “As the thugs were callously and unjustifiably killing a policeman, the police were actively sporadically shooting on members of the Islamic Movement with live ammunition as they scampered for cover.
“Since December 2015, on the streets of Kaduna alone, we have lost 23 members to police bullets, and at least 5, this year alone. What have we done in response other than resort to Courts seeking the enforcement of our rights to peacefully protest?, he asked.