Kaduna State Government has issued an Order declaring the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) an unlawful society. A statement by Governor Nasir El-Rufai’s media aide, Samuel Aruwan, the decisi was taken as part of the government’s duty to preserve peace and security in the state, and to ensure that all perss and organisatis are guided by lawful cduct and with due allegiance to the Nigerian state and its Cstituti.
The Kaduna state executive council approved the making of this order following deliberatis at its meeting of Thursday, 06 October 2016. The Order, which has been signed by the Governor, draws powers vested by the Cstituti and the laws of Kaduna State. Secti 45 (1) of the Cstituti categorically vests in the Governor the powers to take such measures and actis as are necessary for the promoti and protecti of: i. public safety, public order, public morality or public health; or ii. the rights and freedom of all perss in Kaduna State. Secti 97A of the Penal Code (Cap 110, Laws of Kaduna State, 1991) empowers the Governorto declare as an unlawful society any organisati whose activities are dangerous to the security and good governance of the state.
The Judicial Commissi of Inquiry into the Zaria Clashes of 12-14 December 2015 found that the IMN is not a registered organisati, that it has a paramilitary wing and that its members do not recognise or respect the laws of the country and the duly cstituted authorities that have the respsibility to secure and administer the country. The Declarati Order noted that since the regrettable events in Zaria which resulted in the loss of 347 lives, the IMN “has overtly ctinued with unlawful processis, obstructi of public highways, unauthorized occupati of public facilities including schools without regard to the rights of other citizens and the public peace and order of the State”. The Order noted that “these acts, if allowed to go unchecked will cstitute danger to the peace, tranquility, harmious coexistence and good governance of Kaduna State”.
The Declarati Order, which comes into effect Friday, 7 October 2016, provides for the prosecuti of perss that may be in breach of its provisis under the laws of Kaduna State: “Whoever manages, or is a member of the said Society under any appellati or mutati with the propensity of causing the breakdown of law and order, or operates in a manner dangerous to the good governance of the State shall, from commencement of this order, be prosecuted in accordance with the Laws of Kaduna State.” Sectis 97A and 97B of the Penal Code prescribe a penalty of imprisment for seven years or a fine or both for any pers cvicted for belging to an unlawful society.
The Kaduna State Government reaffirms its vigorous commitment to upholding the right of citizens to practice the religi of their choice. These are rights fully protected by Sectis 38 and 40 of the Cstituti. Such rights to freedom of thought and worship must however be exercised in ways that do not infringe the rights of others, and should not subject other people to distress and incvenience.