By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
Following the discharge and acquittal of 91 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shiites by Justice Hajaratu Gwada of a Kaduna High Court on Friday, their counsel, Barrister Maxwell Kyon has called on the Kaduna State Government to provide succour to those released by way of rehabilitating them.
He gave the charge on Friday at a press briefing held at his chambers conference centre.
“The government should engage with us and come out with a figure as compensation for those whose four years in detention at the Correctional Centre.
“The government made those people to be arrested and remanded in prison. We want government to take responsibility for the dislocation of these people for four years. Many lost their jobs, some lost admissions in tertiary institutions and I know of one whose wife left while he was in prison,” he said.
On how much was been demanded as compensation for the acquitted IMN members, he said it is not an issue of issuing out a blank figure, but that each has a peculiar case, making each person affected unique.
“Each has a different loss, the government should sit with us to look at the cases individually.
“We want to believe government will be responsible enough without been pushed by a court order.
“They knew these people were not guilty based on evidences yet they held them in detention. We will pursue whatever case our clients ask us to do,” he added.
Speaking further, he explained that haven proven a no case submission, the judge agreed with them.
“Honourable Justice Hajaratu Gwada in judgement discharged and acquitted the suspects that the government prosecutor were not able to prove their case.
“This is the last case pending. The court looked at all the 31 witnesses drawn from police and army, they tendered about 110 evidences.
“We were able to tell the court that there is nothing linking the suspects to the allegations against them. The court agreed with our no case submission.
“The court was told that the soldiers had already told the IPO that it was a friendly fire from them that killed the deceased, Dan Kaduna whose murder they were tried for,” he said.
Kyon suggested that it would be a waste of time for the government to appeal the judgment, adding that he remains confident that the appellate court will still maintain same judgment, owing to the facts on ground.
In a related development, Engineer Yahaya Gilima who said that he lost five children in the 2015 clashes with the Army, on behalf of IMN presented an award to Barrister Maxwell Kyon for representing the group well in all their matters.
While presenting the plaque, he said they are proud that the Northern part of Nigeria now boasts of a legal luminary in the class of the late Gani Fawenhinmi and Demi Falana, both senior advocates from the South West.