Kaduna High Court acquits Shi’ite leader El-Zakzaky, wife

The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat regained their freedom on Wednesday.

Justice Gideon Kurada of the Kaduna State High Court discharged and acquitted them of culpable homicide, and unlawful assembly, among other criminal charges for which they have been standing trial since December 2018.

The IMN (also known as Shi’ite) leader had been in custody after his followers clashed with the convoy of the immediate-past Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai in Zaria in December 2015.

The court had fixed Wednesday for ruling in the no-case submission filed by Sheikh El-Zakzaky.

Reporters were not allowed into the courtroom, but the Shi’ite leader’s counsel, Marshal Abubakar, spoke after the judgment.

He said the court upheld their no-case submission and agreed that the case preferred against the Islamic cleric lacked merit.

Abubakar said: “The trial of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife Malama Zeenat Ibraheem has come to an end today (yesterday). The court has upheld our no-case submission. the court found that the charges that were filed in 2018 pursuant to a penal law enacted by the Kaduna State government in 2017 over offenses allegedly committed in 2015 is ab-initio.

“The court ruled that the charge ought not to be in the first place because you cannot arraign a man for an offence that was already committed as at the time the said crime was not an offence. And the court was very emphatic on that.”



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