Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, popularly known as Shi’ites, on Tuesday invaded the National Assembly and shot two policemen.
The sect members, who were protesting the continued incarceration of their leader, Ibrahim Zakzaky, that had been in detention since December, 2015, also attacked six other policemen at the National Assembly with stones and clubs.
One of our correspondents learnt that the Shiite members overpowered the policemen at the gate of the National Assembly, collected one of their guns and shot the two security operatives.
They entered the main entrance popularly known as MOPOL gate and vandalised the gate house. They also burnt three vehicles and destroyed many others.
The sect unleashed terror on security operatives when tear-gas canisters were thrown to disperse them. There were fears among the National Assembly staff on Tuesday that one of the policemen, who were shot, had died.
But when contacted, the Federal Capital Territory Police spokesman, Anjuguri Manzah, said no policeman died during the clash with the IMN members, He said, “We don’t have any casualty, no policeman died. Why would we hide such a thing? There was no casualty.”
He also denied that the IMN members seized a gun from a policeman. He said, “No police gun is missing, we have no record that the Shiite members snatched guns from our men.”
During the protest by the Shiites, there was pandemonium at the National Assembly as its gates were closed. Staff and visitors ran for dear lives during the clash between the sect and the police.
Visitors to the federal parliament were barred from entering the premises as of the time of filing this report.
Once the information filtered into the House of Representatives, which was still in plenary as of the time of the attack, the Speaker, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, called for adjournment of the session.