By Godfrey Olukya 21-2-2013
A section of Muslims in Nigeria have protested against the arrest of three Muslims including a 50 yr old cleric over allegations that they were spying on prominent individuals and targets in Ghana for Iran.
According to Nigeria’s state security service spokesman, Marilyan Ogar, the arrested Muslim cleric has been identified as Shiekh Abdullahi Mustapha Berende. Shiekh Berende is also a leader of the Shiite sect in the central city of Ilorin.
Among the institutions he was reportedly spying on are USAID and the Jewish Cultural Centre (Chabad) in Lagos,
Ogar said that they have information showing that Berende underwent his training in Iran and the Iranians tasked him to identify and gather intelligence on public places and prominent hotels frequented by Americans and Israelis to facilitate attacks.
‘We do not believe that Abdullahi Berende was spying for Iran. ‘said one of the protestors, Adam Cweke.’ We regard him as an honest Muslim leader who put the spread and promotion of Islam before anything in his life. ‘
Cweke said that it is common for security organizations in Nigeria to allege that some Muslims are involved in subversive activities. ‘Several times such suspected Muslims are later found to be innocent.’ Cweke said..
Berende and two others were was reportedly arrested in late December 2012 for the alleged spying for Iran. They will soon be appear in court to be charged with terrorism and spying for a foreign state.