There was jubilation in Abuja and Kaduna State on Wednesday especially by followers of El-Zakzaky, the leader of the Shiite group, Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
His wife, Zeenat was also freed by a federal court sitting in Abuja.
Delivering on a no-case submission filed by the defendants, Gideon Kurada, the presiding judge, held that the Kaduna state government could not establish a prima facie case against the defendants. Hence, they must be freed immediately.
El-Zakzaky and his wife were arraigned on an eight-count charge bordering on alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disruption of the public peace, among others.
The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them and had been in detention since December 2015 following clashes between IMN members and soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna state, resulting in scores of death.
The prosecution had closed its case after calling 15 witnesses.
Femi Falana, lead counsel to the defendants, had on July 1, argued that all the 15 witnesses presented by the prosecution failed to establish any connection between the alleged crimes committed and his clients. The court thereby ruled for a no-case submission filed by the defence counsel.©Standard Gazette, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s publisher is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Standard Gazette with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.