A Kaduna State High Court has discharged and acquitted the embattled leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat.

The IMN leader and his wife stood trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disruption of public peace, among other criminal charges since December 2015, following a clash between his followers and the convoy of the then Chief of Army Staff, Lt-General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, in Zaria.

In a ruling that lasted over 8 hours, the presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada upheld the no-case submission filed by Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife in a case filed against them by the Kaduna state government.

The judge in his ruling held that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against the defendants.

Justice Gideon Kurada had fixed July 28 for ruling in the no-case submission filed by Zakzaky after the prosecution and counsel to the defendants addressed the court on the no-case submission prayer.

What you should know

El-Zakzaky and his wife have been standing trial for about 4 years on an 8-count charge of alleged culpable homicide, disruption of public peace and unlawful assembly among others levelled against them by the Kaduna State Government.

The defendants were brought to court on Wednesday morning by officials of the Nigerian Correctional Service amidst tight security.

Their lead counsel and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, had on July 1, argued that all the 15 witnesses presented by the prosecution counsel were unable to establish any connection between the alleged crimes and Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his wife.

Falana then prayed the court to rule in favour of his clients and dismiss the charges levelled against them as there was no criminal case that has been established against them so far by the Kaduna State Government.

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