After being deposed, Zerbo was also incarcerated. On 4 August 1983, Ouédraogo was deposed by Thomas Sankara. In May 1984, Zerbo and Lamizana were put on trial for various crimes. Zerbo was sentenced to 15 years in prison. During his imprisonment, Zerbo converted from Islam to Christianity. He was released from jail in August 1985. After Blaise Compaoré had deposed Sankara he sought Zerbo's advice. Zerbo's conviction from 1984 was annulled on 18 February 1997 by the supreme court of Burkina Faso.
^Saye Zerbo, président of the republic from 1980 to 1982 (article in French) "At once stopped, Saye Zerbo is thrown in prison. After his imprisonment, the deposed president contemplated and read the Qu'ran through whole nights. He also asked for the Bible that the archbishop of Ouagadougou, the cardinal Paul Zoungrana, had offered to him at the time of the first Christmas following his takeover. At this point in time he had the revelation which changed his life. In a mystical dash, Saye Zerbo was brought to his knees, returned thanks to God and converted to Christianity. His entire family did the same thing thereafter."