The Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, has said there is no need for a special clearance to see the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheik Ibraheem El zak zaky, and other detained members of the sect.
Arase’s denial is coming on the heels of an online report that the IGP requires “orders from above” before anybody can be allowed to visit members of the Shi’ite group, in police detention.
In a statement by Bisi Kolawole, Acting Commissioner of Police, and spokesperson of the Police on Tuesday, Arase said at no time did he said there would be special clearance from anywhere before the Shiite members could be visited while still in custody.
“The IGP made it clear that the detainees could be visited by their friends, relatives and lawyers, observing necessary legitimate procedures,” Kolawole said in a statement in which she also confirmed the meeting between the IGP and some Muslim leaders on Monday.
The spokesperson said the IGP had at the meeting reassured of the commitment of the Force to the protection of lives and property and adherence to the tenet of fundamental human rights.
“The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon E. Arase, fdc, NPM, on 21st December, 2015, received a delegation of Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs on a courtesy call in his office at Force Headquarters, Abuja.
“Prof Ishaq O. Oloyede, OFR, FNAL head of the delegation and the Secretary-General of Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, in his address appreciated the leadership qualities of IGP Solomon Arase and the Force Management Team.
“He thanked the Force for the cooperation extended to the Islamic body, and further used the medium to mediate on the clash between Shiite Islamic group and the Military which occurred recently in Zaria.
“The Secretary-General of Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs urged the IGP to look into the immediate and remote causes of the incident with a view to avoiding such in future.
“The body equally appealed for possible medical assistance to those detained in connection with the incident.
“In his response, IGP Arase appreciated the delegation’s visit to his office.
“He emphasized that the Police and other security agencies are conscious of Nigerian citizens’ fundamental rights and would protect them.
“He also assured them of professional investigation of the incident.
“He appealed to the Islamic body to use its reputable and respected platform to caution all groups in the country, that while they have the constitutional rights to express their views, it should not circumscribe the rights of others,” said Kolawole.