From Jibrin Miachi, Kaduna
Despite the protest by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMNI) known as Shi’ite Group against the continued detention and trial of their leader on Wednesday, Sheikh Ibaheem El-Zakzaky and his wife were brought to court on Thursday in continuation of the adjourned case in Kaduna.
Following their arraignment, members of the sect engaged the police in a fierce battle leading to the death of a police officer while several members of the sect sustained various degrees of injuries.
The development brought social and commercial activities in the state capital to a halt.
As usual, the irate Shi’ite members yesterday morning trooped to the state High Court premises in solidarity with their leader, but the situation turned violent when they were prevented access to the court.
Sadly, the court session did not hold as the judge was indisposed.
It was learnt that the violence that ensued led to the death of a policeman who was stoned by the rampaging sect members.
Heavily armed security operatives immediately took over the major streets of the Kaduna metropolis, while others went after the protesting Shi’ites who took to their heels.
Prior to El-Zakzaky’s arraignment, men of the Nigeria Police had cordoned off all the entry points to the court for fear of a repeat of what happened on Wednesday when the sect members came out in their thousands protesting and demanding the unconditional release of their leader and his wife which resulted in fracas.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Mukhtar Aliyu, who confirmed the incident, said that “the policeman was stoned to death and so far, 11 of the protesting sect members have been apprehended.”