A Nigerian court on Wednesday acquitted Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) of all eight criminal charges against him, defense and prosecution lawyers said.
Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, Zeinah, had been in detention since 2015 when he was arrested after a clash in which the army killed an estimated 350 people at an IMN compound and a nearby mosque and burial ground in northern Kaduna state.
The couple had been facing a range of charges filed by the state government in 2018, including alleged unlawful assembly and disruption of public peace.
Justice Gideon Kurada ruled there were no charges to answer and acquitted the pair. Prosecution lawyer Dari Bayero confirmed the ruling.
IMN spokesman Ibrahim Musa said the ruling a victory for perseverance in the face of extreme persecution. Sheikh Zakzaky’s supporters at the courthouse said they feared police would re-arrest him following his release.