The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has faulted the planned ban of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) called Shiites.
Concise News reported that Shittes have been protesting the continuous detention of their leader, Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, who has been in detention since 2015.
The Federal Government has obtained a court order to proscribe the group and declare it a terrorist organisation.
However, speaking over the weekend, CAN via its Head, National and Legal Affairs Samuel Kwamkur, described the move as suspicious.
“The issue of IMN aka Shi’ites is not new. We are aware some of their practices are offensive,” he told Vanguard.
“We are also aware that they were killed extra-judicially by government forces. We are also aware their leader has been in detention.
“We will only speak as responsible religious leaders that the law should take its full course.
“So, the issue of proscribing them through an ex-parte application is not enough, because such thing should go through a rigorous court process to confirm that they truly possess the characteristics of a terror group.
“We have seen the damage they have caused to the public and the damage the government has also caused them.
“The proscription of any group should not be about the might the strong can exercise over the weak.”
He added that the “Government should treat them fairly. Nigerians should hear that the court has tried Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and found him wanting.
“We should also hear that their matter has been fully tried in court and found that they deserve to be proscribed and labeled as terrorists. We would now know that they have been given fair hearing.
“When you use government might to just take a decision on proscribing any group, it is tantamount to intimidation and hatred for a set of people.”