Shiite group denies threatening Pete Edochie over movie role

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has denied threatening Nollywood veteran Pete Edochie for his role in Fatal Arrogance, describing his allegation as “absurd”.

Edochie acted in a role with an outfit resembling that of the IMN leader Ibrahim El-Zakzaky who has been in detention since December 2015.

The actor, however, alleged in a 12-minute video clip that he was being threatened for his role in the movie, adding that he was an actor who could take any role provided the movie was good.

Edochie said the IMN should wait till the release of the movie before raising complaints, adding that he did not get any money from the government to be part of it.

The movie is alleged to be sponsored by the Nigerian Army to depict Shiites as terrorists.

Reacting to the video by Edochie, IMN spokesman Ibrahim Musa in a statement on Tuesday said the explanation was “inexplicable, his reasons flawed and his excuses unimpressive, irrational, and at best absurd”.

“Pete Edochie also claimed that his life was threatened without saying by whom in an attempt to give the movement a bad name and to attract cheap sympathy from Nigerians,” the statement read.

“The petition written by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria to the Inspector-General of Police and the Film’s Censors Board doesn’t threaten anyone’s life. Issuing of threats has never been in our character.”

The IMN spokesman further said Edochie would have read the script and known the content before accepting to feature in the movie.

He said: “Had Pete Edochie cared to carry out a background check on the scripts given to him to act, he would have realised that the Islamic Movement in Nigeria has been victorious in all the over 10 different cases it was in court against the government and perpetrators since that genocide.

“If Edochie has any character as he claims, he would not have accepted to act any role in a film that seems to change the narrative and distort history based on a book distorting facts! If he had any integrity, he would not have accepted to appear in a movie tarnishing the image of an oppressed personality like Sheikh Zakzaky and still think he did nothing wrong because the Sheikh was not mentioned by name. Edochie has thrown his professionalism to the winds as he chose to be paid to distort historical facts, yet claiming not to refer to anybody, when clearly the cast bears all the telltale signs of mischievous attempt, at not only demonizing IMN, but also Islam as a whole.

“Peaceful protesters of the Movement are mischievously depicted as armed protesters, with guns and knives tasty for the blood of the innocent. Yet, Edochie would rather that we waited for him and his perpetrator sponsors to complete their denigration and manipulation before we complain, even as we have seen enough to convince us of their wicked intents.”