Some members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiites, were on Friday, February 21st released from prison.
A Kaduna High Court released the prisoners. According to the court, the Kaduna State Government failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The court released 91 members of the group. Some of the released prisoners have been in custody since 2015.
They were charged with a five-count charge of Criminal Conspiracy, Culpable Homicide, Unlawful Assembly, Disturbance of Public Peace and Wrongful Restraint.
The group had in 2015 attempted to prevent the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff from passing through a public highway.
However, the Kaduna State government seems to be displeased with this new development.
Aisha Dikko, the Kaduna State’s attorney-general and Commissioner of Justice, has reacted to this news, stating their dissatisfaction.
According to Aisha, “Obeisance to the rule of law compels us to challenge this conclusion at the Court of Appeal.”
“The Kaduna State Government will appeal the discharge of the defendants in the State versus Mahdi Munkaila and 91 others.”
According to the commissioner, 36 witnesses were called upon as regards this case; the prosecution has also tendered 106 exhibits.
“These 36 witnesses were called by the prosecuting counsel from the office of the Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice of Kaduna State.”
“The Witnesses included senior military officers who were with the Chief of Army Staff at the scene of the crime, Senior Police Officers, Victims of the crime ” and others.
After the prosecution presented its witnesses and exhibits, “the defence team made a no-case submission”
According to Aisha, the defence team argued that the prosecution had not made out a case to warrant the accused persons to defend themselves.
She said, “This is one of the cases arising from the Zaria clashes of December 2015. After calling 36 witnesses and tendering 106 exhibits, the prosecution is surprised that the court concluded that a legally admissible case had not been made.”
She went on to state that “the state is dissatisfied with the ruling of the court which is, in our view, erroneous in law, perverse and cannot be supported having regards to the evidence led before the court by the prosecution.”
“As such, the state will be lodging an appeal at the Court of Appeal, Kaduna, as soon as the full text of the ruling of the high court and other records are compiled” she said.
“It is a matter of utmost surprise that in its ruling today, 21st February 2020, the court held that the evidence the prosecution led is not legally admissible and discharged the defendants.” She said
This is notwithstanding the fact that Senior Military Officers and Senior Police Officers testified, and that exhibits were tendered and legally admitted by the court,” she said.
“Obeisance to the rule of law compels us to challenge this conclusion at the Court of Appeal” she added.