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Nigerian forces detain 7 Shiites holding up poster of Sheikh Zakzaky

A Magistrates’ Court at Karu in Abuja on Friday granted seven Shiite Muslims from the Islamic Movement of Nigeria bail of N100,000 each on the three-count charges against each of them.

The seven defendants were allegedly charged for the offences of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly and inciting public peace!, contrary to sections 97, 102 and 114 of the Penal Code.

The defendants are Ibrahim Dogo, Khadija Mohammed, Rukaiya Salisu, Mohammed Habib, Aminu Sani, Leminu Sani and Aisha Ameen. All were arraigned for the same alleged offences.

The Magistrate, Abubakar Umaru, granted the defendants a bail with two reliable and reasonable sureties each in like sum.

He said the sureties must be Civil or Public Servants with a Grade level of 8 and above.

Mr. Umaru also said the sureties must live within the jurisdiction of the court and their addresses must be verified by the officer of the court.

He added that the sureties must submit their passport photographs and national identity cards with the court.

State Prosecutor, Patrick Ogele, had earlier told the court the defendants were arrested by CSP Nwakeme Ezenwa, at Dakwa Road in Deidei, along the Abuja-Kaduna expressway on Thursday.

The prosecutor said Mr. Ezenwa, a police officer attached to the Zuba FCT Police Command, reported the matter to the FCT Commissioner of Police.

He said the defendants were arrested after they gathered on the road while holding up two large brand new posters with the face of the popular Shiite leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, on it.

According to Mr. Ogele, the defendants gathered with a common intention of going into the city, and specifically to the court premises where the trial of their leader was ongoing.

Mr. Ogele claimed that the intention of the defendants was to disturb the court premises and public peace.

He told the court that during police investigations, the defendants could not give a satisfactory explanation to the police.

Counsel to the defendants, Bala Adukwu, prayed the court to grant his clients bail on liberal terms and that they were resident within Nigeria.

After listening to the charges, the seven defendants all pleaded not guilty and the matter was adjourned till Oct. 26 for hearing.

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