The Nigerian Police has confirmed the death of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, FCT Command, DCP Usman A.K Umar during a protest, Monday, by members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The protest, which, according to a statement by DCP Frank Mba, Force Public Relations Officer, involved over three thousand followers of detained Sheik El-Zazakky, turned violent within the Central Business District of Abuja and resulted in the shooting of DCP Umar.
Mba also confirmed that two Assistant Superintendents of Police and a Staff of Channels Television sustained serious injuries and are currently receiving treatment while 54 suspects were arrested in connection with the protest which was part of the “Free El-Zazakky campaign.”
Mba said “The heavily armed protesters defying all sense of decency violently attacked innocent citizens and Police personnel on duty. In the process, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, FCT Command, DCP Usman A.K Umar, was shot and fatally injured by the protesters.
“The officer who was immediately rushed to the hospital died moments later while receiving treatment.
“Also, two (2) Assistant Superintendents of Police and a Staff of Channels Television sustained serious injuries and are currently receiving treatment.
“The violent protesters also razed down a National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) Response Post close to the Federal Secretariat, Abuja and two (2) vehicles.
“Meanwhile, the Police have arrested fifty-four (54) suspects in connection with the incidents. The suspects are undergoing interrogation and will be arraigned in court as soon as possible,” Mba said.
However, spokesperson for the group, Ibrahim Musa, said that members of the movement do not carry arms and that it was the Police that shot at the procession, killing about 11 people. He went on to suggest that DCP Umar and others may have been hit by bullets from law enforcement agents.
Umar said, “What actually happened was that the protesters started the procession from NITEL junction and on getting to federal secretariat the police cordoned off the road and started firing at them.
“A lot of people have been shot but for now we can only confirm 11 deaths, but several are injured, the figure for now stood at 30. Though we are aware of the fact that the security agents have been going around taking off those they killed from the streets.
“Even some seriously injured persons that were taken to Abuja University teaching Hospital Gwagwalada; the police went there and took away about 11 people they shot during the protest.
“We strongly dispute the claim by the police that the protesters shot at them because throughout our processions we have not been carrying any arms right from 2015 to date. It was also the police who shot at the Reporter of Channels TV, another indication that many innocent people were shot at by the police, including some of their own.
“In this era of social media the brutality displayed by the police today has been captured with some pictures showing the police setting up the bonfires and there are videos that captured the police carting away their victims,” he stressed.
Mba concluded his statement by saying, “The IGP, while commiserating with the family of the late DCP, condemns the incident and warns that Enough-is-Enough as the Force and the nation at large will not continue to suffer losses on account of reckless and lawless persons and groups in the society”
The group only recently invaded the National Assembly to press the case for the release of their leader and his wife who were taken into custody after a major clash with the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State.