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100 El-Zakzaky followers regain freedom in Kaduna

100 El-Zakzaky followers regain freedom in Kaduna

- The Islamic Movement in Nigeria describes the release of its members by a Kaduna court as a victory in the face of extreme persecution

- The group calls for the release of its leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, who are reportedly being held in the custody of the DSS

- A Middle Belt Forum warns against repealing the Benue state anti-grazing law

About 100 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) arrested in December 2015 following a clash between the sect and men of the Nigerian Army have been freed by the High Court in Kaduna state.

The court ruling on the no case submission filed by the defense lawyers discharged and acquitted the sect members of the charges levelled against them on Tuesday, July 31, The Sun reports.

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Spokesperson of the IMN, Ibrahim Musa, in a statement, said the court ruling had vindicated members of IMN. He described the judgement as a victory for perseverance in the face of extreme persecution.

“The attack was sequel to the unlawful invasion of the privacy of their residence and eventual destruction of the house completely,”Musa said.

“This has been aptly described by several human rights bodies as a massacre. To worsen these flagrant crimes against humanity, bodies of all the hundreds killed were hurriedly and secretly buried in mass graves about 100km away from the scene, apparently in a shoddy attempt at hiding the crime and its magnitude.”

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The group also called for the release of its leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, who reportedly are being held in the custody of the Director of State Services (DSS).

It accused the Kaduna state government led by Malam Nasir El-Rufai of perpetuating the persecution against the Islamic movement and the continued detention of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife despite a court judgement ordering their immediate release from detention.

In another report, the Middle Belt Forum has alleged that there are plans by the federal government to repeal the anti-grazing law bill in Benue state.

MBF on Tuesday, July 31, also accused the federal government of a conspiracy to impeach the Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, with a view to repealing the anti-open-grazing law in operation in the state.

The forum said that the present administration is instigating lawlessness and anarchy with the planned impeachment of the governor in order to declare a state of emergency in the state.

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