Shiites/Police Clash: Channels TV Reporter, DCP, 11 Others Die

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A member of the National Youth Service Corps serving with Channels Television as a Reporter, Precious Owolabi; the Deputy Commissioner in charge of Operations at the Federal Capital Territory Police Command, Usman Umar; and 11 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, popularly known as Shiites, died in Monday’s protest by the Islamic organisation in Abuja.

The members of the IMN have in the last three weeks been protesting the continued incarceration of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife by the Federal Government.

According to available information, Owolabi, 23, died from a gunshot wound he sustained while covering the clash between the police and the Shiite protesters.

The station in a statement on its website, said: “The management and staff of Channels Television are greatly saddened by the untimely and unfortunate death of such a promising journalist.

“They pray that God will grant his family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss, and avail his soul eternal rest.”

According to available information, Monday’s protest started from NITEL Junction in Wuse 2.

As the protesters advanced, attempts were made by the police to stop them from getting to the Three Arms Zone and the Federal Secretariat.

The Shiites had about three weeks ago stormed the National Assembly, where they had a bloody protest.

In the bid to stop the advancing team of protesters on Monday, the police made use of live bullets, with the Shiites claiming 11 of their members were killed.

At the National Emergency Management Agency substation close to the Federal Secretariat, two vehicles were set ablaze by the protests.
Affected was a water tanker and one operational vehicle.

Several cars were also damaged at the Eagle Square.

The spokesman of the IMN, Abdullahi Musa, said in a statement late on Monday that 11 members of the sect were killed by the police.

Musa said they had no hands in the killing of Umar as Shiites bear no arms.

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'Dotun Akintomide's journalism works intersect business, environment, politics and developmental issues. Among a number of local and international publications, his work has appeared in the New York Times. He's a winner of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Award. Currently, the Online Editor at The New Diplomat, Akintomide has produced reports that uniquely spoke to Nigeria's experience on Climate Change issues. When Akintomide is not writing, volunteering or working on a media project, you can find him seeing beautiful sites like the sandy beaches that bedecked the Lagos coastline.

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