Judge’s Absence Stalls El-Zakzaky’s Trial

The absence of Justice Gideon Kurada of the Kaduna state High Court, onThursday, stalled the trial of the leaderof the Islamic Movement of Nigeria,  Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife.

The Kaduna State Government arraigned the duo before the Judge on eight counts bordering on alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disturbance of public peace among other allegations.

The IMN leader and his wife were first arraigned on May 15, 2018, while the court later adjourned the application for their bail to June 21.

At the resumed hearing today, El-zakzaky and his wife were brought to the court by DSS operatives in a black Prado SUV amidst tight security.

However, the matter could not be heard due to the absence of the Judge and the case was later adjourned to July 11, 2018, for the continuation of hearing on the bail application.

The lead Defence Counsel, Femi Falana, described their arraignment by the Kaduna State Government as an exercise in futility, as he insisted that a Federal High Court in Abuja had granted the accused persons bail, which the Nigerian government has failed to obey.

He also described the heavy security presence at the court as uncalled for.

Falana had made an oral application for his client’s bail and for hindered access to him when he was first arraigned on May 15 alongside his wife Zeena.

While the judge granted his request for unhindered access, the hearing of the application was subsequently adjourned.

The court also granted an application by the prosecution asking for more time to continue to keep El-zakzaky and his wife in DSS custody.

Despite the ruling of a Federal High Court which ordered his unconditional release in 2016, Mr El-Zakzaky and his wife have remained in detention since December 2015.

Their continued detention has sparked several reactions especially his supporters.

Members of the IMN group also known as Shiites have staged series of protests across the northern states demanding the release of their leaders with some being marred by deadly violence.

 

 

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