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Kaduna State High court presided over by Justice Esther Lolo has discharged and acquitted members of the Islamic Movement (Shiites) standing trial for protest in Kaduna following the Zaria massacre of December 2015.

Delivering judgement in the “no case” submission put in by the defense lawyers in the matter, Justice Lolo absolved them of all the five-count charges brought against them by the Kaduna government.

Justice Esther Lolo ruled in favor of the 10 Shiites arraigned before her in 2016 for the alleged offences of Criminal Conspiracy, Unlawful Assembly, Rioting, Disturbance of Public Peace and Causing Grievous Hurt.

At the last sitting of the court in July 2017 after all the prosecution witnesses had testified and the prosecution had closed its case, Mr. Maxwell Kyon Esq. who led Ummishetu Shehu Esq. and Martins Joseph Esq. addressed the Court on a no case submission.

He urged the Court to find that the prosecution had failed to establish a prima facie case against the defendants requiring them to enter a defence in the matter.

According to him, the prosecution had failed to prove the essential ingredients of the offences alleged to have been committed. He urged the court to discharge the accused persons and acquit them of the offences for which they were standing trial.

Mr. Isiaka Abdullahi Deputy Director of Public Prosecution in his response urged the Court to find that at this stage of the trial all the court was called upon to do was to decide whether or not a prima facie case had been made out against the defendants for which they would be required to enter their defence.

He argued that the Prosecution through the witnesses it called had established a prima facie case against the defendants.

He prayed the court to discountenance the no case submission made on defendants’ behalf and call upon the defendants to enter their defence.

In the ruling delivered by her lordship, Justice Esther Lolo upheld the no case submission argued by Mr. Kyon for the defendants and discharged and acquitted the defendants in respect of all the offences for which they stood trial.

She held that the entire evidence of the Prosecution was not direct as it failed to point to any of the defendants as being one of the perpetrators of any of the offences for which the defendants stood trial.

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