The House of Representatives on Wednesday abruptly ended its sitting after the presiding officer announced that protesting Shiites had crashed into a gate of the National Assembly.


The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun, announced that the protesters, members of the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) crashed into the first gate of the National Assembly.

The development forced the legislators to abruptly adjourn their plenary which was on before the announcement.

Members of the IMN have held regular protests to demand the release of their leader since December 2015.

Their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, was arrested along with his wife after soldiers killed hundreds of IMN members in Zaria, Kaduna State, between December 12 and 15, 2015. Some of Mr El-Zakzaky’s children were amongst those killed.

A judicial panel set up by the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, found the military culpable in the massacre, recommending a major-general for trial.

The Nigerian government is yet to prosecute anyone for the mass killings.

At least 347 people were confirmed dead and given mass burial in Kaduna.

The International Criminal Court is currently investigating the December 2015 massacre.

Other rights groups like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have also condemned the killings.

Mr El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeena, are still being detained and are being prosecuted for their alleged roles in the killing of a soldier.

More details shortly…