The Nigerian government has secured a court order to proscribe the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) commonly called Shiites.
The court order for the proscription of the Shiite group was issued by the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Friday.
The proscription order was first published by the Punch newspaper on Saturday.
According to the paper, the court presided over by a judge, Nkeonye Maha, made the order and directed that “no person or groups of persons should henceforth associate with the Shiites for any reasons.”
The paper added that the court order was given following an ‘ex-parte’ application brought by the federal government.
“To complete the process of the proscription of the group, the court ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation “to publish the order proscribing the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in the official gazette and two national dailies,” the paper said.
Protests by IMN members have turned violent in recent weeks leading to the death of over a dozen people.
The casualties include a senior police officer, a Channels Television journalist and over a dozen Shiites.
The protesters are demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaki who has been detained since 2015 after soldiers killed hundreds of his followers.
The soldiers accused the Shiites of blocking a major road being used by the Nigerian Chief of army staff Tukur Buratai.
While the security agencies have always accused the protesters of engaging in violent protest, the protesters have claimed that their peaceful protests have been repeatedly attacked by armed security officials.
A formal announcement of the proscription of the IMN is expected by the justice ministry or the presidency.
The IMN will become the second group to be proscribed by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
In 2017, the Nigerian government proscribed the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), a separatist group seeking secession from Nigeria.