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Published On: Fri, Oct 5th, 2018

Shi’ites protest, as court adjourns El-Zakzaky’s trial

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From Femi Oyelola Kaduna

The trail of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) Shiekh Ibrahim Zakzaky suffered set back because of the visit to Kaduna yesterday by the Vice president Professor Yomi Osinbajo and the case was adjourned to November 7 2018 Shiekh Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife, could not attend the court session because of inadequate security even though court ruling for bail, applied by the counsel to the defendants could not be heard because of their absence from court.
This development has however, sparked off protests by the group’s members in Abuja as hundreds of Shiites yesterday locked down the Federal Ministry of Justice demanding the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, currently in the custody of the Nigeria government.
The protest started from the federal secretariat and ended at the ministry.
According to the group’s spokesperson, Abdullahi Muhammad, the action was taken since “our leader would not be released to us”.
Muhammad said “today at a Kaduna High court, the ruling on the bail application of our leader was again adjourned to November 7.
“This is inhumane, the government keeps telling us they are protecting Zakzaky and keep coming up with excuses. We his followers are tired, and we want the minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, to do the needful by releasing our leader.”
Muhammad said the prosecution counsel, Dari Bayero, complained of lack of adequate security in Kaduna town and this made the judge, Gideon Kurada to adjourn the matter.
“The prosecution explained that the security agencies had drafted personnel to strategic areas of the state to provide security for the visit of the Vice President, Yemi Osibanjo, to Kaduna State.”
El-Zakzaky has remained in detention since he was arrested in December 2015, following a clampdown on his members by soldiers.
Meanwhile, explaining the adjournment of El Zakzaky’s trial, in an interview with newsmen after the session, counsel to the defendant, Barrister Maxwell Kyon said that the development halted progress on the matter.
“The matter was adjourned to today for further mention, I am sure you are aware that at the last adjournment date, we had argued an application for bail in respect of the first and second defendants.
” Because the President was supposed to be in Kaduna, the state could not mobilize and bring the defendants to court, because according to them, it should have posed quite a lot of problem in terms of personnel for security of the President and the defendants.
“Considering that the defendant was not brought to court, the ruling was not delivered. Unfortunately for us today, we have not made much progress,” he said.
When asked in the judge handling the matter was in court, he insisted that he was and the court sat.
“Court sat, and all we could do was to simply take a date. We’ve taken another date, hoping the defendants would be brought to court. The matter adjourned to November 7, 2018,” he said.
Affirming the position of the defence counsel, the prosecuting team led by the of Kaduna State, Bayero Dari said that they appealed to the court to excuse the presence of the defendants in Thursday’s hearing and the court graciously agreed.
“You know the Vice President is visiting Kaduna, security is stretched and the prosecution asked that the presence of the defendants in court be excused and the court graciously agreed,” he said

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