Sheikh Ibraheem ZakzakyThe Kaduna state government has issued an order declaring the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) led by Ibrahim Zakzaky, an unlawful society.
Samuel Aruwan, spokesman of Nasir el-Rufai, governor of the state, disclosed this in a statement. The statement said the decision to outlaw the sect was arrived at during an executive council meeting which held on Thursday.
“This action is taken in the exercise of the government’s duty to preserve peace and security in the state, and to ensure that all persons and organisations are guided by lawful conduct and with due allegiance to the Nigerian state and its constitution,” the statement read.
“Section 97A of the Penal Code (Cap 110, Laws of Kaduna State, 1991) empowers the governor to declare as an unlawful society any organisation whose activities are dangerous to the security and good governance of the state.
“The order, which has been signed by the governor, draws on powers vested by the constitution and the laws of Kaduna state. Section 45 (1) of the constitution categorically vests in the governor the powers to take such measures and actions as are necessary for the promotion and protection of public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or the rights and freedom of all persons in Kaduna state.”
The statement added that the judicial commission of inquiry into the clash between the sect and some soldiers “found that the IMN is not a registered organisation.”
Aruwan said it was discovered that the organisation has a paramilitary wing and that its members do not recognise or respect the laws of the country.
“The declaration order noted that since the regrettable events in Zaria which resulted in the loss of 347 lives, the IMN has overtly continued with unlawful processions, obstruction of public highways, unauthorized occupation of public facilities including schools without regard to the rights of other citizens and the public peace and order of the state,” the statement read.
“The order noted that these acts, if allowed to go unchecked will constitute danger to the peace, tranquility, harmonious coexistence and good governance of Kaduna state.”“Sections 97A and 97B of the penal code prescribe a penalty of imprisonment for seven years or a fine or both for any person convicted for belonging to an unlawful society.
“The Kaduna state government reaffirms its vigorous commitment to upholding the right of citizens to practice the religion of their choice. These are rights fully protected by sections 38 and 40 of the constitution.”
Zakzaky is still in military custody despite pressure on the government to release him