The trial of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, is expected to resume on Tuesday, January 22, in the city of Kaduna. The Kaduna State Police have reportedly restricted movements within the city throughout the day; traffic diversions have been put in place around the Kaduna High Court of Justice, i.e. on Independence Way, Bida Road, and all other roads leading to Ibrahim Taiwo Road.
Demonstrations by IMN supporters may take place in Kaduna, as well as in Abuja. Clashes between security forces and protesters cannot be ruled out.
On November 7, the Kaduna High Court of Justice denied bail for El-Zakzaky.
Violent protests broke out in Abuja on October 29-30, with IMN supporters demanding the release Ibrahim El-Zakzaky. During the protests, several INM supported were reportedly killed, with at least 400 others being arrested by security forces.
El-Zakzaky, a prominent Shi'a cleric, was arrested in December 2015 when soldiers raided his home in Zaria (Kaduna state), killing a number of IMN followers in the process. The Nigerian Federal High Court ordered El-Zakzaky's release in December 2016, but he has nevertheless remained in detention.
IMN protests occur on a regular basis, especially in Abuja, Kaduna, and Kano states, despite a ban on the group's activities.
Individuals in Nigeria are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities.
On a separate note, the security environment in Nigeria is complex and is particularly challenging in the northeast and extreme south of the country due to the presence of armed groups, high crime rates, and the risk of kidnapping. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel to such areas.
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