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.