Shiite members jubilate as court frees Zakzaky’s disciples

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It was jubilation galore on Friday for the followers of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, as a court in Kaduna freed members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), detained since 2015 for alleged unlawful assembly.

The Shiite members who had, according to their spokesperson, commenced a hunger strike on Thursday, suspended the strike action to join family members and other sympathizers in celebrating their freedom.

Ibrahim Musa, President of the Media Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), said they had again “secured a favourable judgement in the case brought before the Kaduna State High Court against the last batch of our members.”

The members were detained since December 2015 following a violent confrontation with the Nigerian Army in Zaria.

According to Musa, “the court discharged and acquitted all the 100 remaining accused members and vindicated the Islamic Movement, thereby absolving both the leadership and membership of any blame in the events leading up to the Zaria massacre.”

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This, he said, concluded the four-year legal battle, in which the Kaduna state government sued almost 200 members of the Islamic Movement. He alleged that over a thousand innocent souls died during the confrontation, while the dead were subjected to a secret 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 the 31st of July, 2018. They all stood trial for sundry offences, including culpable homicide punishable by death.

“Today 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 judgement is certainly a victory for perseverance in the face of extreme persecution.

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“With this victory today, the false charges filed against the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife of aiding and abetting the alleged culpable homicide by these same discharged persons have been punctured for good. This total and comprehensive victory in court is 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.

“We give praises to the Almighty for this successful outing in court. We wish to use this opportunity to also say a big thank you to all people of conscience, human rights activists and organizations, journalists and all those that joined in our dogged campaign for justice for the victims of Zaria genocide,” he said.

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