23 February 2020
One hundred members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria were set free because the prosecution did not present any evidence to prove that the defendants were guilty of the offences.
They were standing trial on a five count charge including culpable homicide, an offence carrying the death penalty.
The prosecution said it does not agree with the judgement of the court and this will not be the end of the matter.
In a statement, the IMN described the ruling as a victory for perseverance in the face of extreme persecution, saying its leader and members have been victims of impunity and mischievous plots by the government.
The one hundred members said they were united in prayers during four years of detention in prison. They said this verdict is coming with mixed feelings.
One hundred other members of the Islamic Movement were discharged and acquitted two years ago on the same charges. Back in December 2015, two hundred members of the Islamic Movement were arrested and thrown in prison following an attack on their worship center and the home of the IMN leader, Sheikh Zakzaky in Zaria.
The attack by security forces resulted in the killing of over three hundred and forty of Zakzaky supporters including three of his biological sons.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Zakzaky’s trial is expected to resume next week. At the hearing, the cleric will defend himself in the face of the charges filed against him.
By Danjuma Abdullahi. This report first appeared on the Iranian state-owned Press TV.