12 July 2018

Nigeria: El-Zakzaky's Trial Paralyses Activities in Kaduna

Photo: Mbazri/Wikimedia
Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

The Kaduna State High Court has adjourned the hearing on the bail application of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

The court fixed August, 2018 for hearing on the charges which borders on murder instituted by the state government.

The Shiite leader and his wife were charged with eight count charges bordering on culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disturbance of public peace, among others.

They were first arraigned on May 15, 2018, when the court adjourned the hearing on the application for their bail till June 21.

However, the matter could not be heard as scheduled due to the absence of the judge and the case was later adjourned till yesterday (wednesday) July 11 for the continuation of hearing on their bail application.

Ahead of their arraignment however, the police had blocked all the roads leading to the court and diverted vehicles to use alternative routes.

The diversion was part of measures by the Command to prevent any breakdown of law and order by the Shiite members who have been carrying out series of protests to demand their leader's release.

The police had also cautioned the Shiites against embarking on any form of unauthorised procession or protest in the state,stressing that the command would not hesitate to deal decisively with any person or group of persons who deliberately attempt to violate the ban on unlawful assembly in the state.

Barrister Maxwell Kyon, defense counsel to El-Zakzaky speaking on the adjournment, said, "the case has been adjourned to August 2 for further mention. But as at today the other two defendants that are listed on the charge are still yet to be served and so the prosecution simply asked for another date to intensify efforts to serve them.

"We had also filed a bail application that we had hoped will be looked into today, but unfortunately it was very late yesterday that we were served with the response to that bail application. So we also asked for a short date to enable us respond to the counter affidavit that was served by the state.

"So what the court did today was to simply adjourn the matter to the 2nd of August", he said.

Meanwhile, palpable anxiety gripped Kaduna residents when heavily armed security operatives took over Kaduna metropolis within the period the case was to be heard and subjecting residents to untold hardship.

It would be recalled that when the Islamic sect leader was arraigned in court about three weeks ago, a fracas ensued between the police and members of the sect leading to the death of a police man and some sect members.

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