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A Kaduna high court presided has discharged and acquitted 10 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) who were arrested for staging protests over the detention of Ibrahim Zakzaky, leader of the sect.

Zakzaky was arrested following a clash between some of his members and soldiers in December 2015.

Delivering judgement on Thursday, Esther Lolo, a judge, struck out the 5-count charge filed against the IMN members.

They were charged with for the alleged offences of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, rioting, disturbance of public peace and causing grievous hurt.

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Lolo ruled in favour of the 10 members of the Islamic Movement who were arraigned before her in 2016.

She held that the 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.

Members of the sect are standing trials in different courts across the country.

Despite the proscription of its activities in different northern states, the group has continued to stage rallies to demand the release of its members.

On Sunday, IMN lost two of its members during a clash with security personnel in Kano state.

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