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NASS protest: Police arraign 38 Shiite members

The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command has arraigned 38 members of the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) in various courts in Abuja.

Ten members of the sect were brought before a magistrate court in Wuse Zone 2.

Twenty eight others were arraigned at a Magistrate court in Wuse Zone 6.

The defendants, who could not understand English, with the help of an interpreter, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

The charges border on criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, assault and others.

Following this, the counsel to the defendants, I.A Ishaq, moved a motion praying that his clients be released on bail.

Mr Ishaq also drew the courts attention to the fact that nine of the defendants are minors.

Prior to this, the judge, Raphael Joshua, ordered that the minors be “remanded in a decent facility outside the police cell”.

The judge then adjourned the case to July 18 to rule on the bail application.

The police had on Tuesday said two of its officers were shot by suspected members of the Shiite IMN.

This, the force said led to the arrest of 40 protesters.

The Shiites are demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been detained by the government since December 2015.

Over 340 Shiites were reportedly killed by the army in December 2015 after the army accused the Islamic sect of blocking their path.

No army officer has been arraigned.

Sunday Olatunji
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Newstide247.com newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.
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