Court judgment acquitting our members is victory over impunity, say Shiites
Ninety-one members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites, were yesterday discharged and acquitted by the Kaduna State High Court over a case of culpable homicide brought against them by the government.
Justice Hajara Gwada while delivering judgment in the case said the state government failed to prove the case of culpable homicide against the accused and struck out the charges against them.
Reacting to the judgment, the IMN in a statement by its spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, said it has it has absolved their leadership and membership of any blame in the events leading up to the 2015 Zaria massacre.
Musa said: “This concludes the four-year legal battle, in which the Kaduna State government sued almost close to 200 members of the Islamic Movement after an attack on the Movement by the Nigerian Army in December 2015 that led to the killing of over a thousand innocent souls, and a secret mass grave burial.
“Of the survivors of that horrendous attack falsely accused by the Kaduna State government, a Kaduna State High Court had earlier discharged and acquitted about a hundred of them since July 31, 2018. They all stood trial for sundry offenses, including culpable homicide punishable by death.
“Today (Friday) again, the Kaduna State government has however again failed in court after a fair trial. It is a victory for truth and justice against tyranny and impunity. This judgment is certainly a victory for perseverance in the face of extreme persecution.”
Musa noted that “with this victory today, the false charges filed against the leader of the IMN, Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife of aiding and abetting the alleged culpable homicide by these same discharged persons have been punctured for good.”He added: “This total and comprehensive victory in court is a further proof that the Islamic Movement and its leader have been only victims of impunity and mischievous plots by the government. We therefore urge the Kaduna State government to swallow its pride and withdraw the fake charges it filed against the Sheikh and his wife, and release them immediately,” Musa added.
Meanwhile, counsel to Shittes, Maxwell Kyon, who addressed a press conference in Kaduna, appealed to the state government to ensure that the 91 MNI members who were discharged and acquitted by the court are rehabilitated back to normal society after spending more than three years in prison custody.
He said: “Most of them have lost their wives, parents and even children in the course of their detention. Those who are students of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, can no longer go back to school after losing years of academic calendar.”
No comments yet