Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has ordered the arrest and subsequent prosecution of Ibrahim Musa, spokesperson of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), a group that has been banned by the state government.
This is contained in a statement by Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and publicity, Mr Samuel Aruwan.
Aruwan said an order declaring the IMN as an unlawful society in Kaduna State took effect from October 7, 2016.
“Violation of this order attracts penalty of imprisonment for seven years or a fine or both, according to sections 97a and 97b of the Penal Code,” he said.
According to him, few hours after the commencement of the order, Ibrahim admitted membership of an unlawful society and identified himself as its spokesman in widely publicised statements.
“This is deemed as a deliberate and determined affront to the order, and the law has to take its course.
“The Commissioner of Police has been directed to ensure the arrest to enable prompt prosecution by the Kaduna State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice,” the special assistant said.
He said all security agencies in the state had been directed to vigorously enforce the law, and demonstrate clear resolve by arresting the said Ibrahim.
“Ibrahim has been advised to report himself to the nearest police station or any of the security agencies,” he said.
Aruwan said government could not allow the laws of the state to be wantonly tested and confronted by any one or group who might have the mistaken believe that they are above the law.
“The Kaduna State Government also wishes to reiterate that it fully respects freedom of religion and other rights as guaranteed by Sections 38 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution.
“The same Constitution imposes an obligation on government to secure the state and protect every citizen against infringement of their rights by others.
“Drawing from powers vested by Section 45(1) of the Constitution, and Section 97a of the Penal Code, the governor signed an order declaring the IMN as an unlawful society in the interest of public order and to protect the rights and freedoms of all persons in Kaduna State,” he added.