A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed January 19, 2022, to hear the suit filed by the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Shiek Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenah, against the Department of State Services and the Attorney General of the Federation.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, fixed the date to allow the DSS and AGF, respond to allegations bordering on fundamental rights enforcement, leveled against them.
In separate suits, the IMN leader and his wife, are demanding general and exemplary damages over the respondent’s refusal to release their international passports.
They are also praying the court to grant an order, restraining the DSS and AGF, from further violation of their rights.
In the suits filed by the Femi Falana Chambers on October 14, they told the court that their passports were last seen in the possession of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), which has officially denied that it was in their possession.
On attempting to renew their passports through the Immigration Service, it was revealed that the passports had been flagged by the DSS.
They added that all requests to remove the restriction have been ignored by the agency.
The couple are also demanding the sum of two billion naira each, for the alleged violation of their fundamental rights to freedom, fair hearing, despite being acquitted and discharged by a court on July 28.
The state Director of Public Prosecution, Daris Bayero, told Channels Television that the charges border on terrorism and treasonable felony against the state and federal government.
He further explained that some of the actions of the IMN leader upon which he is being charged with fresh allegations, dated back before 2015.
Bayero added that with the fresh charges, the court will consequently issue an order for the arrest of Elzakzaky for him to answer the charges.
The couple has been standing trial for the past four years on eight counts of culpable homicide, disruption of public peace and unlawful assembly among others after the government accused them of being responsible for the death of a soldier when soldiers massacred over 300 protesting Shiites in December 2015.
Despite series of protests and several court rulings ordering his release, they remained in custody until July 28, 2021.
There’s heavy security presence at the Kaduna State High Court on Wednesday as the court prepares to deliver judgement on the no-case submission filed by the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.
Ahead of the court ruling, security is beefed up within Kaduna metropolis and environs, while all roads leading to the High Court complex have been barricaded by security operatives.
The case is presided over by Justice Gideon Kurada.
El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenah Ibrahim are standing trial in the court for the past four years on an eight-count of alleged culpable homicide, disruption of public peace and unlawful Assembly among others levelled against them by the Kaduna state government.
They were brought to court on Wednesday morning by officials of the Nigerian Correctional service amidst tight security.
During the sitting, the court is expected to rule on the no-case-submission prayer presented by the lead counsel to El-Zakzaky, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, who argued that all the 15 witnesses presented by the prosecution counsel were unable to establish any connection between the alleged crimes and El-Zakzaky.
Falana had in the last sitting on July 1st, 2021, prayed the court to rule in favour of his clients and dismissed the charges levelled against them as there was no criminal case that has been established against them so far by the Kaduna State Government.
So far, the prosecuting counsel, Daris Bayero has presented 15 witnesses who testified against the defendants.
Among them are two army officers, a retired director of State Security service, police officers and a medical doctor.
El-Zakzaky and his wife have been in detention since December 2015 following a bloody clash between his followers and soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Ahead of the court ruling, security has been beefed up within Kaduna metropolis and environs, while all roads leading to the high court complex have been barricaded by Security operatives. This is to forestall any breakdown of law and order before, during and after the court session.
A Kaduna State High court has set aside July 28, 2021, to rule on the no-case submission filed by the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim Elzakzaky and his wife Zeenat, challenging the charges levelled against them by the Kaduna state government.
Elzakzaky and his wife are standing trial on an eight-count charge bordering on alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of the public peace, among others.
During the last sitting on May 25, the prosecuting counsel Dari Bayero finally rested his case by presenting his last witness, thereby bringing the total number of witnesses called by the prosecution to 15.
Among the witnesses who testified against the IMN leader were two Army officers, a retired director of State Security Service (SSS), police officers and a medical doctor.
At the resumed hearing of the trial on Thursday, Counsel to the defendants, Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, filed a no-case submission and asked the court to dismiss the charges levelled against them as there was no criminal case so far that has been established against the defendants by the Kaduna State government.
This was however opposed by the prosecuting counsel, Daris Bayero who insisted that the defendants have a case to answer, and therefore asked the court to overrule the no-case submission and convict the defendants as provided in the law.
During today’s sitting, Security was beefed up around the Kaduna metropolis while all roads leading to the high court complex were blocked by Security operatives, in order to prevent any breakdown of law and order during the court proceedings.
A Kaduna State high court presided over by Justice Gideon Kurada has vacated the order it made directing the Nigerian Correctional Service to release Zeenat, the wife of the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, for COVID-19 treatment.
Justice Kurada, had on January 26, 2021 ordered Zeenat’s release after their lawyer, Femi Falana, presented a medical report asking the court to allow his client seek medical treatment outside the correctional centre in line with the safety measures put in place by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
However, on Thursday, the court revoked the order after an oral application made by one of the Defence counsels, Haruna Magashi , who claimed that Mrs Elzakzaky has regained her health.
“Upon an oral application moved by H.G. Magashi, Esq. holding the brief of Femi Falana SAN, counsel for the 1 defendant and of Edwin Inegedu, Esq. of counsel for the 2nd defendant applying for an order vacating an earlier order made on 26th January 2021 for 2nd defendant to be taken to a government hospital for treatment.
“The situation has changed as the 2nd defendant regained her good health and the unfettered access to medical facilities granted her by the correctional services centre, Kaduna,” the judge said.
“It is hereby ordered that the application is granted and the order of court made on 26 January 2021 is hereby vacated,” the judge further said.
El-Zakzaky and his wife have been in detention since 2015 after his followers clashed with soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna state.
The IMN leader is standing trial for alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of public peace among others.
A Kaduna State High court presided over by Justice Gideon Kurada has ordered the Nigerian Correctional Service to evacuate the wife of the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Zeenat Elzakzaky to an isolation centre to enable her to undergo treatment for COVID-19.
The spokesman of the group, Ibrahim Musa, confirmed the news to Channels Television on Thursday.
He said Zeenat tested positive for COVID-19 a second time on January 20, 2021, but the management of the Correctional Centre denied the report.
The denial was contained in a statement signed by the spokesman of the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Kaduna State Command, Daniel Wadai, who insisted that there is no report of any COVID-19 infection in any of their facilities as all inmates are safe and well-protected.
“The attention of the Kaduna State Command of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) has been drawn to a news item being circulated by some mischief makers alleging that an inmate in one of the custodial centres in the state has contracted COVID-19,” the statement said.
At the resumed trial of the defendants who are facing an eight-count charge of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly among others, their counsel, Femi Falana on Monday told the court that Mrs El-Zakzaky has tested positive for COVID-19, and also presented a medical report to back up his claim.
He, however, appealed to the court to allow his client to seek proper medical treatment outside the Correctional Centre in line with the protocols that have been outlined by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control
The appeal was supported by the prosecuting counsel and the Solicitor general of Kaduna state, Chris Umar.
In his ruling on the appeal, Justice Kurada ordered that Mrs Elzakzaky should be moved to a government-approved isolation and treatment centre.
Meanwhile, four witnesses were presented by the prosecuting counsel before the court at the resumed sitting on Monday, while more witnesses including a serving General officer Commanding of the Nigerian Army in the North East are also expected to testify before the court tomorrow.
The embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat are absent as their trial resumed on Monday at the Kaduna State High Court.
Security has been beefed up in the state capital as well as all the roads leading to the High Court complex.
During today’s court sitting, the Prosecuting Counsel Dari Bayero is expected to bring the remaining witnesses including a GOC of the Nigerian Army.
The presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada had on December the 11th, 2020, adjourned the case to January 25, 2021, after the prosecution counsel presented six witnesses before the court.
The prosecuting counsel had initially presented two witnesses from the Nigerian army who testified in secret before the court, while a Director from the state security services and three residents of Gyallesu in Zaria were among the four witnesses that were admitted as witnesses.
The witnesses were also cross-examined by the Defence Counsel, Femi Falana.
El-Zakzaky and his wife are facing trial on an eight-count charge bordering alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of the public peace among other charges, to which they both pleaded not guilty on Sept. 29, 2020.
Both of them are being detained at the Nigerian Correctional facility in Kaduna State on the orders of the court.
Last week, members of the IMN renewed calls for their release, claiming that Elzakzaky wife had tested positive for COVID-19 inside the Detention centre.
His appeal comes less than a week after members of the movement renewed their demand for the release of their embattled leader, his wife, and other members of the group still in detention.
The Chairman Resource Forum of the IMN, Professor Abdullahi Danladi, said that four years after a federal high court freed El-Zakzaky and his wife, the Federal Government has refused to obey the court order.
El-Zakzaky was arrested in 2015 and is being tried by the Kaduna state government over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disruption of the public peace, and criminal conspiracy among others.
A Kaduna State High Court sitting in the state capital on Wednesday adjourned till tomorrow, the continued hearing of the trial of the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement In Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife Zinat.
El- Zakzaky and his wife have been in detention since December 2015, following clashes between members of the IMN and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.
At the resumed hearing on the matter on Wednesday, two witnesses from the Nigerian Army were presented before the court by their counsel.
After making their submissions, they were cross-examined by the defence counsel, Femi Falana.
Fourteen more witnesses are expected to be presented before the court during the continuation of trial tomorrow, November 19.
However, speaking to reporters at the end of the court sitting, counsel to El-Zakzaky, Femi Falana, kicked against the consistent closure of roads against traffic in the Kaduna State capital whenever the trial of El-Zakzaky comes up.
Falana lamented that this situation puts the residents of Kaduna metropolis into unnecessary hardship.
“We will like to appeal to the authorities in Kaduna State, both the governor and the security forces that since our clients are not being brought to church on health grounds, they don’t really need to block all roads leading to the court, so that people can move and go about there normal business,” Falana said.
Security was beefed up in the Kaduna State capital on Wednesday while all roads leading to the state high court complex were barricaded against traffic by security operatives as
This is to forestall any break down of law and order during and after the trial of the IMN leader.
Police authorities on Saturday dispersed members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria as they gathered in Kaduna to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the alleged killing of some of their members by the Nigerian Army on July 25, 2014.
IMN Spokesperson, Ibrahim Musa, told Channels Television that the commemoration was a peaceful annual event usually observed with members gathering to offer prayers for the repose of the souls of their departed members.
He explained that shortly after they commenced the programme at a cemetery in Zaria, Armed policemen stormed the venue and started shooting tear gas into their air.
Mr Musa asked the police to save their bullets for armed bandits and terrorists who are killing innocent and defenseless civilians.
In its response, the State Police Command said the group remains outlawed and security operatives reserve the right to disperse them.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, officially declared the IMN banned in July 2029.
The group was founded by Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who is being tried by the Kaduna state government over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disruption of the public peace, and criminal conspiracy among others.
Both defendants were brought to the court to take their plea, amid heavy security presence.
Their arraignment today comes about three weeks after the last hearing of the suit against them on February 6, after the case was adjourned for eight months.
The trial judge, Justice Gideon Kurada, had amended the charges against the defendants from four people to two and excluded two other accused persons who are still at large, to enable the trial of the IMN leader and his wife commence without delay.
The judge also ordered that the defendants should be allowed to be seen by their private doctors at the Nigerian Correctional Service facility in the Kaduna State capital, with close supervision of the facility management.
He, however, adjourned the case until February 24 and 25 for accelerated hearing.
Ahead of the couple’s arrival in court, security was been beefed up in the Kaduna metropolis in what seems to have become a tradition.
Security operatives cordoned off all major roads leading to the court complex and the court premises, in order to avert any breakdown of law and order, as a result of the violent protests by members of the Shiite group in Abuja and some other cities in the North.
The IMN leader and his wife have been in detention since their arrest in December 2015 following a bloody clash between the Shiites and soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna State.
On Friday last week, Justice Hajaratu Gwadah discharged and acquitted 91 members of the group who were held in detention for four years.
She held that the prosecutor was unable to prove its allegations against the defendants beyond a reasonable doubt.
The state government has, however, vowed to appeal the judgment which it described as erroneous.
The Kaduna State government on Thursday said the fate of the embattled leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) is in the hands of the court.
This was disclosed by the Attorney General of Kaduna State and Commissioner for Justice, Aisha Dikko.
She revealed that the ongoing legal processes should not be the subject of a media campaign or pressure of any kind, affirming that the Kaduna State Government has no intention to withdraw the charges and would rather leave it to the court to decide the case.
In a statement issued in Kaduna, the state capital, Dikko said both Ibrahim El Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat are facing an eight-count charge, including culpable homicide punishable with death, before the High Court of Kaduna State.
The Attorney General recalls that the court had earlier refused the accused persons’ application for bail following their arraignment in August 2018.
“At its last sitting on December 5, 2019, the court adjourned hearing in the matter to February 6, 2020, and ordered the transfer of the couple from DSS facilities to the Kaduna Correctional Centre for the duration of the trial.
“It is the High Court that will decide the case, and the rule of law demands respect for the prerogatives of the court and the ongoing legal process,” she said.
Dikko said further that like any other person facing a criminal trial, El-Zakzaky and his wife have been accorded due process and are being represented by their lawyers.
“There is no court order pending against the Kaduna State Government on the matter. Rulings and orders that were secured against the Federal Government do not have any bearing against the Kaduna State Government which was not a party to those proceedings and against whom no orders were made.
“Any issues regarding compliance or non-compliance with a court order by the DSS or the Federal Government cannot be used to vitiate the judicial proceedings the Kaduna State Government has commenced against the El-Zakzakys,’’ she argued.
An eight-count charge was filed against some accused persons on April 19, 2018, including El Zakzaky and his wife, after months of painstaking investigation, which covered a period of about three decades.
According to the commissioner, persons who were accused alongside El-Zakzaky include Yakubu Yahaya Katsina and Sanusi Abdulkadir Koki and they were charged to court for alleged criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide punishable with death and unlawful assembly.
They were also charged with alleged wrongful restraint, disturbance of public peace; voluntarily causing grievous hurt; inciting disturbance, and breach of Public Peace.
The Attorney General recalled that these charges arose following the Zaria clashes of December 12th-24 2015 between the Nigerian Army and El-Zakzaky’s movement.’
“It was the tragic Nadir of the more than 30 years of oppression that Zaria residents had endured at the hands of a movement that had grown accustomed to disregarding the law, disrespecting the human rights of other citizens and inconveniencing members of the public.
“A Judicial Commission of Inquiry to look into the Zaria clashes was constituted on 29th January 2016.
“Members of the IMN owe absolute loyalty to Ibrahim El-Zakzaky. He, therefore, bears responsibility for all the acts of lawlessness committed by the organization and should, therefore, be held responsible, fully investigated and prosecuted.”
The Kaduna State Government then accepted the findings of the Inquiry and commenced the processes for prosecuting El-Zakzaky and the leadership of his movement.