The Islamic Movement in Nigeria also known as Shi’ites has denied responsibility for the deaths in the bloody clash with men of the Nigeria Police Force in Abuja yesterday July 22nd.
A statement released by the spokesperson of the group, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, says the police killed the Channels TV reporter, Precious Owolabi and the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Umar Bebel, just to tarnish their image.
According to Musa, the image of the deceased police officer shows that he was shot from the back where his fellow police officers were positioned during the clash. He argued that Bebel could not have been shot at the back when he was said to have been facing the angry protesters. The statement in part reads
“Yesterday the Nigeria police force headquarters issued a press statement in which it ascribed the death of DCP Usman A.K Umar in particular to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the leadership of the illegally detained Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.
“We vehemently condemn such insinuation which we believe was done in bad taste to once again tarnish our hard-earned credit as the only non-violent Movement in the country.
“A quick analysis of images and video clips showed that the Free Zakzaky procession was peacefully progressing prior to the brutal crackdown. It also clearly showed that the protesters weren’t bearing arms as usual and traffic was moving smoothly without hindrance.
Furthermore, the images also showed the police, armed to the teeth, were intent on stopping the movement of the protesters, at all cost. Few other policemen and plain cloth security agents were seen piling used tyres for use to set bonfires. By the time the police struck, about a dozen members of the Islamic Movement had been killed. The police were seen picking the corpses to an undisclosed location, perhaps for mass burial.”
Also shot were the Channels TV reporter, Precious Owolabi and their colleague, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, whom photographs showed was struck from the back of his head with the bullet exit in front, an indication that he was a victim of friendly fire.
It is a known fact among the intelligence community that you don’t retreat from a mob with your back turned against them. This is one of the tenets of crowd control for law enforcement agencies. As if to hide this fact, the late policeman was hurriedly buried without any form of postmortem examination, which would have revealed the source of the bullet.
It seems the security agents strategically killed the Journalist to turn the media against us. They also killed the police officer to incite the security community against us and to stigmatize us”.