by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, the shit’tes, has again secured victory against Kaduna state, as court discharged 12 of its members, who were alleged to have committed criminal offences of criminal conspiracy, unlawful society, unlawful assembly, and being members of unlawful society.
Counsel to the defendant, upon the close of the prosecution case, sought the leave of the court to file a written address on a “No-Case-Submission” upon which the court discharged and acquitted the defendants.
The arrests and subsequent charges of 12 followed a declaration by the Kaduna state governor, Nasiru El-Rufai, that “the Islamic Movement in Nigeria is proscribed as an unlawful society” in October, 2016; even though, he had no legal authority to do so.
The movement, not being a formally-structured, registered organization, but rather a religious movement, does not fall in the category of society as wrongly described by the state governor, contrary to the interest of the state.
The Court Judge, Hon. Her Lordship Justice M.L. Mohammed, upon finding merit in the “No-Case-Submission” argued by el-Rufai counsel, M.B. Yusuf, held thus; “On the whole and from all the evidence adduced before this court in this case, this court finds and so hold that prosecution has not established a prima facie case of belonging to an unlawful society, unlawful assembly, being members of unlawful society and disturbing public peace against the defendants to warrant calling upon them to enter their defence.
“No-Case-Submission made on behalf of the defendants is hereby upheld and the defendants are hereby discharged and acquitted accordingly.”
It would be recalled that the defendants were arraigned on a four-count charge of offences punishable under Sections 97, 97B, 104 and 114 of the Penal Code in suit No. KDH/KAD/113C/2016, and the prosecution presented nine (9) witnesses and various exhibits were tendered.
The IMN case, with the leadership of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, held on the 24th July, 2020, in the Kaduna State High Court.