Kaduna Govt to appeal acquittal of 91 IMN members

Posted by News Express | 23 February 2020 | 319 times

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The Kaduna State government says it will challenge the court judgement which discharged and acquitted 91 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).

The Director of Public Prosecution in the State, Daris Bayero, disclosed this to Channels Television in reaction to the judgement of the Kaduna State High Court delivered on Friday.

He said, “Now we have read the ruling; My Lord has discharged them (the IMN members) after a no-case submission.

“She discharged them and acquitted them and said we did not present any legally admissible evidence before the court.”

“Now, we have looked at the judgment and listened to the judgment because I was in court when the judgment was delivered.

“The judgment is erroneous on point of law because 31 witnesses were called, including senior military officers that were at the scene of the incident when it happened and they came to testify and gave a vivid account of what happened to them on that day,” Bayero added.

Justice Hajaratu Gwada had acquitted the defendants, who were arrested during a clash with soldiers in Zaria in December 2015, of the charges filed against them by the state government.

They were arraigned on five counts of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, culpable homicide, disturbance of public peace, and causing grievous hurt.

During their trial, the defence counsel had filed a no-case submission before the court on the grounds that his clients were innocent, stressing that the government had failed to prove its allegations.

Justice Gwada, thereafter, struck out all the charges filed against the IMN members, saying the prosecutor could not prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.

But Bayero alleged that the judge erred in her ruling, adding that the prosecution presented over 105 exhibits that were cleared and legally admitted by the court.

He insisted that the way forward was to test the ruling at the appellate court with the hope that justice would be served.

The government prosecutor decried that the trial of the defendants began in 2016 and senior military and police officers, as well as senior pathologists, gave their testimonies before the court.

He was unhappy that the court said they have not presented any legally admissible evidence to prove their allegations against the IMN members.

“Accordingly, I have been directed to file a notice and grounds of appeal as soon as we obtain the full reading of the court before the court of appeal. That is the position we are in now.

“We are not happy with the part where My Lord said that we have not presented any legally admissible evidence before the court. That is the part that hurts us the most,” the government official said.

He insisted, “We must test that! It is only the Court of Appeal that will say otherwise. We are trying to obtain the record and then we would appeal against the judgment definitely.” (Channels TV)

Source: News Express

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