Court releases 91 Shiite Muslims from detention in Kaduna, four years after

A Kaduna State High Court on Friday discharged and acquitted 91 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) in the state.

The presiding judge, Justice Hajaratu Gwada, in her judgement, acquitted the defendants of the charges filed against them by the Kaduna State government.

The Shiite Muslims who regained freedom were arrested during a clash with soldiers in Zaria in December 2015.

They were arraigned on five counts of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, culpable homicide, disturbance of public peace, and causing grievous hurt.

During their trial, the defence counsel had filed a no-case submission before the court on the grounds that his clients were innocent.

He also stressed that the state government had failed to prove its allegations against them beyond a reasonable doubt.

Giving her judgement, Justice Gwada struck out all the charges filed against the IMN members and acquitted them.

She held that the decision was as a result of the prosecutor to prove the allegations levelled against the defendants beyond a reasonable doubt.

Kaduna State government, however, rejected the judgement, arguing that it is ‘erroneous‘.

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The State Director of Public Prosecution, Daris Bayero, in a media interaction said that the Kaduna State government would appeal the judgement at a higher court until justice is done on the case.

The counsel to the IMN, Maxwell Kyon, commended the judge on the judgment.

Kyon described the judgement  as the “prevailing of truth over injustice”, condemning the Kaduna State government for detaining the IMN members for over four years without any cogent reason.

He decried that some of the defendants lost their children and wives, while others missed their admission into tertiary institutions while in prison.

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