Court adjourns trial of El-Zakzaky as IMN cries foul

A Kaduna State High Court, on Tuesday, adjourned the trial of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, until March 8 and March 9.

The adjournment followed Justice Gideon Kurada’s ruling in an application by the counsel to defendants, Mr. Eddie Inegedu, representing Mr. Femi Falana, requested for time to preview a video brought to court by two prosecution witnesses.

Inegedu told reporters after the trial, that the court admitted one of the two witnesses brought by the prosecution.

He said the second witness was not admitted because the defence team needed time to preview the documentary evidence (video) brought by the witness, a former legislator at the Kaduna state house of Assembly.

On whether the Nigerian Correctional Service had complied with the court order to evacuate Zeenat to a Isolation Centre for COVID-19 treatment, Inegedu said the team had yet to be brief on that.

Also speaking, Mr. Chris Umar, the state Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Justice, who led the prosecution said his team presented one witness and the trial was adjourned until March 8 and March 9 for continuation of hearing.

Justice Kurada had on Jan. 25, ordered that Zeenat who tested positive to COVID-19 be evacuated to a government-approved isolation and treatment centre.

Falana said that his client tested positive to COVID-19.

Falana said his team presented the results of the test before the court and applied that Zeenat, the second defendant in the trial who tested positive to the virus more than one week, be availed with proper medical facility to get treatment.

Falana had complained that the Medical facility at the Kaduna correctional Centre did not have the facilities to treat the virus.

The secret trial of the IMN leader and his wife Zeenat began on Nov. 18, 2020 at the High Court.

The Kaduna State Government charged El-Zakzaky and Zeenat with eight counts bordering on alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of the public peace among other charges!!.

On Sept. 29, the IMN leader and his wife pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.

However, the International Human Rights Commission (IHRC) is deeply concerned for the health of both Sheikh, whose health continues to deteriorate, and Mallimah, who tested positive for Covid-19.IHRC Chair Massoud Shadjareh said:

“It is clear that there is something other than the processes of law at work here. The couple need to be released immediately and these trumped up charges thrown out of court.”

Meanwhile, a peaceful rally organized by supporters of Nigerian cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky in Abuja was dispersed by security forces.

The protest rally was held on Monday against Sheikh Zakzaky’s arrest and trial. Those attending the protests called for the immediate and unconditional release of Zakzaky, who is the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), and his wife.

Nigerian President ‘Buhari’ beyond the Law

Four years after a Federal High Court ordered the release of leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), popular Muslims cleric ‘Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky’ and his wife, Zeenab, have expressed surprise that the Federal Government is only paying lip service to the enforcement of rule of law in Nigeria.

The Chairman of IMN Resource Forum, Prof. Abdullahi Danladi, said in Kaduna on 18th January 2021 that marked the fourth anniversary of the expiration of the 45-day caveat, when the Federal Government was ordered to release Sheikh Zakzaky in a historic judgment delivered by Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Abuja Federal High Court.

Danladi explained that the judgment was the enforcement of Zakzaky and his wife’s fundamental rights. He said: “Failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to obey that judgment four years on, and counting, makes it one of the worst violations of the rule of law, and a monumental abuse of the couple’s rights.

Source: AhluBayt News Agency (ABNA).

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Olusegun Fayose

Olusegun Sunday Fayose, founder of RovingNaija.com is a Marketing Communication executive with experience in Corporate Communication, Public Relations, Branding and Advertising. He is also a seasoned media professional with roots in print, broadcast and online journalism. Segun, who last managed the Group Corporate Communication function of MultiChoice Nigeria, is upbeat that through responsible, fair, accurate and courageous reporting; and the support of readers, followers and patrons, Nigeria takes a step closer to a regime of accountability, fairness and equity in governance.

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