Police arrest 19 protesters in Abuja

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The Federal Capital Territory Police Command has confirmed the arrest of at least 19 members of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) protesting against the ruling of the Federal High Court regarding the international passport of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

A Federal High Court in the nation’s capital had earlier rejected an application filed by Sheikh El-Zakzaky, asking the Department of State Services, DSS, to release his passport and that of his wife.

But Justice Obiora Egwuatu, who delivered judgement on the matter, ruled that the Islamic cleric failed to prove that his passport was missing.

The development angered Sheikh’s followers numbering over 400 who staged a protest from the Federal High Court to Eagle Square leading to the blockage of major roads while demanding immediate release of their leader’s international passport.

The FCT Command Police Public Relations Officer, SP Josephine Adeh, in a statement said the protest inconvenienced members of the public, especially commuters.

She said: “Upon receiving distress calls from residents apprehensive of their safety, police operatives were swiftly deployed to the scene to support officers already on ground monitoring the procession. On sighting the reinforcement team, members of the IMN started throwing stones, Molotov cocktails, and other dangerous objects at the officers.

“The unlawful procession was dispersed using minimal force while nineteen (19) suspects were arrested and will be charged in court following due process of the law.

“The FCT Command assures residents of its commitment to security, safety, and peace within the capital territory. No untoward incident was recorded as observation and monitoring continued.”

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