El Rufai & Okoye in turf war regarding Shia Muslims

Governor El Rufai is pressing charges against 91 Shiite Muslims and their umbrella body, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN). El Rufai’s government is seeking death sentence for the accused.

The Shiite Muslims are accused of incinting clashes between the Shiite movement and the Nigerian Army that occurred in December 12th and 14th, 2015.

The Shiite Muslims are accusing the Federal Government of master minding the mass murder of its group members. El Rufai’s government says it discovered a grave where about 350 members of the group were buried by the Nigerian Army.

The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reported that more than 250 Shiites members were arrested by the Army and are currently facing several degrees of charges.

They are being charged for criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disturbance of public peace and wrongful restrain.

The lead prosecutor, Dr. Dari Bayero, declared in court yesterday that the accused persons contravened “Sections 97, 102, 106, 221 and 256 of the Penal Code Law of Kaduna State. My Lord the charge before you is for mention. We humbly apply that the names of the accused persons be called out for identification.

“My Lord the 1st, 13th, 34th, 39th, 57th , 66th and 70th accused persons are not in court and are absent. They were released on bail and are aware of this date particularly the accused person No. 57 who we have proof of service on. My Lord the 1st accused person was released on bail to one Ibrahim Haruna who is Resident at Zaria.

The defense team led by Festus Okoye said the prosecution had not served the accused persons with any charges since the case was filed on March 22, 2016.

Okoye said, “My Lord our first application is that the prosecution should serve the charges on all the accused persons. My Lord, the application for bench warrant against the accused persons that are not before the court is not proper.

“My Lord the 1st accused and his surety were not served with a copy of this charge and hearing notice and thus, are not aware that the matter comes up today. The 13th accused person was released because he was critically ill. There is also no evidence that he was served with the charge or hearing notice. The 39th and 70th accused persons were released on bail because they are minors and were not served against today. I don’t have information on the 57th accused person.”

Governor El Rufai is seeking death sentences for every accused persons in the case.