A detective of the Department of State Service (DSS), Mohammed Usman has disclosed that the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as the Shi’ite sect is so powerful in Kaduna state due to the huge funding it receives from countries such as Iraq and Iran.
This is even as he alleged that the Shiite have no respect for the sovereignty of Nigeria.
Usman, who is in charge of Sabon-Gari in Zaria, made the disclosure when the Nigeria police force and the DSS appeared before the investigative panel set up by the Kaduna State government to investigate the December 2015 clash between the sect and the army.
“They don’t believe in the sovereignty of Nigeria; they have their flags. IMN is a state within a state,” he said.
“They have strong affiliation with Iraq and Iran due to the fact that these countries have a large population of Shiite members.They have five different flags which symbolises some beliefs within the movement.
“I am aware of complaints of residents of Sabon-Gari about them. When people come to complain to me about them, I persuade them to bear the situation because when the IMN officials are invited for a chat, they don’t come.”
Confirming what the DSS official said, Keneth Dika, a lawyer and deputy superintendent of police, urged the government to “control the sect’s external funds, which come from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon.”
“Like the Boko Haram, if you trace the history of the Shiite, you will find that they have become difficult,” he said.
“The police is aware of the activities of the group over the years, including complaints by residents of Sabon-Gari, Zaria. But there was nothing we could do to check their excesses other than interfacing with them to achieve peace.”
Dika criticised the sect for constantly refusing to honour police invitations and resisting arrest.
“The usual altercations between the Shiite and police are about non-recognition of police as a constituted authority, dishonouring police invitations for whatever reason whenever invited, and resisting arrest whenever any of them is reported to have committed an offence.”
“We are yet to ascertain the number of deaths, some members of the MNI said their relations were killed, but the police is yet to conclude investigations.
“When it is an allegation of murder, investigations does not close until after seven years. On December 13, 2015, a total of 270 suspects were handed to the police by the military, but the suspects were charged to a magistrate court and later remanded in prison custody in Kaduna.”
Meanwhile, the counsel to IMN, Mr. Festus Okoye has on Wednesday disclosed that the leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, was being detained at the Headquarters of the Department of State Security (DSS) in Abuja.
Speaking at a news conference in Kaduna, Okoye said El-Zazzaky has lost his left eye while his left hand is partially paralysed, adding that they could hardly recognise him when they met him in detention.