•Over 32 injured, 54 arrested
•Buhari summons emergency security meeting
•IGP decries the incident, warns that ‘Enough is Enough‘
•Shiites give own account of the clash
The Nigerian Police has confirmed that the unending protest of the members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as the Shiites has claimed the life a top police officer with the Federal Capital Territory Police Command as well 11 members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
This was confirmed in a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, while the President IMN Media Forum Ibrahim Musa confirmed the deaths of their members in a separate statement.
Mba also noted that two Assistant Superintendents of Police and a staff of Channels Television, Precious Owolabi, sustained serious injuries, with the Shiites Spokesperson Musa claiming that 30 of their members were wounded in the fracas.
Unfortunately, the Staff of Channels TV could not survive and was later confirmed by the Chairman of NUJ FCT Chapter Mr. Emmanuel Ogbeche, to have died from the injuries .
“Channels TV reporter Precious Owolabi shot in the stomach during today’s Shi’ite Muslim, Police clash in Abuja is dead,” the statement read.
In response, President Muhammadu Buhari, has summoned the security chiefs for an emergency meeting at the presidential villa in Abuja.
Sources revealed that the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu briefed the President on the development.
Earlier, PRNigeria had noted that the deceased was Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operation, DCP Umar Usman.
DCP Umar was killed by the protesters while trying to prevent the hostile action of destruction of property at the axis of the federal secretariat and three arms zone.
Consequent of the violence, security was beefed up at the Force headquarters to prevent reprisal attacks over the arrest of scores of the protesters who are demanding the release of the spiritual sect leader, Sheik Ibraheem El Zakzaky.
Part of the Police Statement read: “Another violent protest by members of the El-Zazakky group involving over three thousand (3000) of its followers took place today, 22ndJuly, 2019 at about 12:30pm within the Central Business District of Abuja.
“The heavily armed protesters defying all sense of decency violently attacked innocent citizens and Police personnel on duty.”
“In the process, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, FCT Command, DCP Usman A.K Umar, was shot and fatally injured by the protesters. The officer who was immediately rushed to the hospital died moments later while receiving treatment. “
“Also, two Assistant Superintendents of Police and a Staff of Channels Television sustained serious injuries and are currently receiving treatment. The violent protesters also razed down a National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Response Post close to the Federal Secretariat, Abuja and two vehicles.”
“Meanwhile, the Police have arrested 54 suspects in connection with the incidents. The suspects are undergoing interrogation and will be arraigned in court as soon as possible.”
Mba also stated that the IGP Adamu, while commiserating with the family of the late DCP, condemns the incident and warns that Enough-is-Enough as the Force and the nation at large will not continue to suffer losses on account of reckless and lawless persons and groups in the society.
In a related development, the President of IMN Media Forum said 11 people of their members were confirmed dead and at least 30 others seriously injured “as the police attack a peaceful Free Zakzaky protest march in the FCT, Abuja”.
Musa said the trouble started when the police prevented the group who are on a peaceful protest from accessing their way to the federal secretariat.
Read the full statement:
Abuja today yet again witnessed one of the worst cases of blatant trampling of the rights of citizens ever seen in the Federal Capital, when joint security forces consisting of both uniformed men and officers of the Nigerian Police Force and others in mufti, unleashed their fury on a Free Zakzaky protest by members of the Islamic Movement.
The procession, attended by several thousands of persons, including very young children, the aged, women and the physically challenged, met with an extreme rage indicative of deep seated animosity the Nigerian authorities bear for the Movement.
What actually happened was that the protesters started the procession from NITEL junction and on getting to federal secretariat the police cordoned off the road and started firing at them.
A lot of people have been shot but for now we can only confirm 11 deaths, but several are injured, the figure for now stood at 30. Though we are aware of the fact that the security agents have been going around taking off those they killed from the streets.
Even some seriously injured persons that were taken to Abuja University teaching Hospital Gwagwalada; the police went there and took away about 11 people they shot during the protest.
Photo highlights of the clash:
We strongly dispute the claim by the police that the protesters shot at them because throughout our processions we have not been carrying any arms right from 2015 to date. It was also the police who shot at the Reporter of Channels TV, another indication that many innocent people were shot at by the police, including some of their own.
In this era so social media the brutality displayed by the police today has been captured with some pictures showing the police setting up the bonfires and there are videos that captured the police carting away their victims”.