After six years in detention, the Kaduna State High Court has discharged and acquitted the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Shiekh Ibrahim Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat.
Here is the timeline of his ordeal:
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July 25, 2014
Soldiers allegedly killed 35 IMN members during their famous Quds match in Zaria – three out of which were Zakzaky’s children.
December 12, 2015
Military accused IMN members of blocking the then COAS, Lt. Gen. Buratai’s (rtd) motorcade along Sokoto Road in Zaria city. The military accused the IMN members of plotting to assassinate Buratai, an allegation they debunked.
December 12-13, 2015
Nigerian military was accused of killing more than 300 Shi’ites and buried them in a shallow grave in Kaduna. However, the military denied the accusations.
November 14, 2016
Eight Shi’ite members and a police officer were killed during a procession in Kano. Police had then banned IMN members from conducting Ashura procession from Kano to Zaria.
December 2, 2016
A High Court in Nigeria ordered secret police to release Elzakzaky in 45 days.
January 20, 2017
The court then threatened to order the arrest of then IGP, Ibrahim Idris, Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and the then Director General of SSS, Lawal Daura, for court contempt if they refused to heed with its order.
January 7, 2018
Security operatives killed two students during the protest by IMN members demanding the release of Elzakzaky in Kaduna.
January 13, 2018
Sheikh Zakzaky had his first public appearance since his arrest, where he said that he suffered from a minor pulse on January 5th.
April 16, 2018
Police had a collision with IMN members during a protest demanding to release Zakzaky at a Unity Fountain, Abuja where one person killed and several others wounded.
April 23, 2018
IMN members had faced the wrath of police whilst on procession to the Human Rights Commission. 115 IMN members were arrested.
May 15, 2018
Elzakzaky and his wife Zeenat were dragged before Justice Gideon Kurada of Kaduna High Court on charges bordering unlawful assembly, igniting public unrest among others. Kaduna State was the prosecutor.
July 11, 2018
The court adjourned the case to August 2nd, 2018.
August 2, 2018
The court adjourned Elzakzaky’s plea for bail until October 4th, 2018.
October 4, 2018
The judge had again adjourned the bail application to November 17th, 2018.
October 27, 2018
His followers gathered at a bridge in Zuba near Abuja. They had a confrontation with soldiers who were ferrying weapons where three Shi’ites lost their lives.
October 29, 2018
IMN members had again clashed with soldiers and police. Military said that three Shi’ites were killed but they maintained that at least 50 IMN members were killed in the clash.
October 30, 2018
Police arrested 400 Shi’ites for inciting unrest in Abuja. They accused them of being in possession of 31 local bombs made with petrol and other lethal weapons. Military said three IMN members were killed but the IMN disputed saying dozens were killed.
November 17, 2018
The court rejected bail application on lack of evidence from doctors that Zakzaky was dearly in need of medical attention.
December 7, 2018
Hundreds of Zakzaky’s supporters took to Abuja streets protesting that their leader be released.
January 22, 2019
Justice Gideon Kurada ruled that secret police should continue detaining Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat but he should be allowed to see doctors.
June 29, 2019
Justice Kurada adjourned the hearing as he would be among the judges who would preside over presidential and other election petitions in Yobe State.
July 9, 2019
Police and Shiites clashed outside the premises of the National Assembly. Police said that two of its officers were shot on leg and six others wounded through hurling stones at them. Police arrested 40 IMN members. An IMN member told Reuters that police opened fire at their members who were conducting themselves peacefully to enter the premises of the National Assembly.
July 10, 2019
House Representative Members had called on Nigerian authorities to release El-zakzaky in line with several courts’ orders.
July 18, 2019
Justice D.H Khobo presided over a bail application hearing which was adjourned to July 2019. She ruled that: “It should be understood that the federal government is not responsible in detaining Zakzaky out of his case was transferred to the state government.
July 22, 2019
Deputy Commissioner of Police, Usman Umar, a trainee journalist with Channels television, Precious Awolabi and 11 IMN members lost their lives in skirmishes between police and the Shi’ites during a protest in Abuja.
July 26, 2019
Government had secured a ruling from a High Court in Abuja which proscribed activities of Shi’ites – following Zakzaky.
July 29, 2019
Justice Darius Khobo of Kaduna High Court adjourned Zakzaky and his wife’s application to travel to India to seek medical attention on August 5th.
July 31, 2019
IMN announced suspending protests for other options to end the stalemate and suing the federal government to court challenging its proscription.
Source BBC Hausa Service.