Tight Security As El-Zakzaky’s Trial Continues In Kaduna

 

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.

Heavy security presence at Kaduna metropolis during El-Zakzaky’s trial on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.

 

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.

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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.

Kaduna Court To Rule On El-Zakzaky’s No Case Submission On July 28

Police block the road leading to the Kaduna State High court on Thursday, July 1, 2021.

 

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.

Femi Falana
FILE PHOTO: El-Zakzaky’s lawyer, Femi Falana, speaks to Journalists in Kaduna.

 

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.

Court Adjourns El-Zakzaky’s Trial to March 8 & 9

Court To Rule On El-Zakzaky's Bail Application August 5
A file photo of Mr Ibrahim El-Zakzaky

 

The trial of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, has been adjourned to March 8 and 9, 2021, for further hearing.

The presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada adjourned the case during Tuesday’s sitting after the prosecution counsel; Chris Umar presented two witnesses before the court.

However, only one of the witnesses testified before the court while the other one is expected to be taken in the next adjourned date.

The adjournment of the trial comes barely 24 hours after the judge ordered the Nigerian Correctional service to immediately evacuate the wife of Sheikh Elzakzaky, Zeenat to an isolation Centre where she will be treated for COVID-19 infection which she contracted in detention.

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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.

El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat

 

The couple have been in detention since their arrest in December 2015 following a bloody clash between the Shiites and soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Speaking to reporters after the court proceedings, counsel to El-Zakzaky says the prosecution is expected to close its case in the next sitting.

He also said that the management of the Nigerian Correctional service have been served with the court order for the evacuation of Elzakzaky’s wife to a treatment Centre.

– El-Zakzaky’s Wife COVID-19 Status-

A Kaduna State High court presided over by Justice Gideon Kurada on Monday admitted evidence that Zeenat Elzakzaky has tested positive to COVID-19.

He, therefore, ordered the Nigerian Correctional Service to evacuate her to an isolation centre to enable her to undergo treatment for COVID-19. She reportedly contracted the virus inside the Nigerian Correctional Centre in Kaduna state capital last week.

El-Zakzaky’s wife Zeenat

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.

Security Beefed Up As El-Zakzaky’s Trial Resumes In Kaduna

Court To Rule On El-Zakzaky's Bail Application August 5
A file photo of Mr Ibrahim El-Zakzaky

 

Security has been beefed around the Kaduna State High Court as the trial of the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, (IMN) Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife Zinat resumes in Kaduna state capital.

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.

They are being prosecuted by the Kaduna State government on an eight-count charge bordering on alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of the public peace among other charges.

Security operatives at Kaduna State High Court premises.

 

On September 29, 2020, the IMN leader and his wife pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.

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The defendants through their lawyer, Marshall Abubakar who represented Femi Falana, the lead counsel,  filed a no-case submission and asked the court to quash the case against them for lack of merit.

Abubakar submitted that the Kaduna State government has failed to “disclose an offence known to law contrary to Section 36 (8) and (12) of the 1999 constitution as amended” against his clients.

However, the presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada in his ruling,  dismissed the no-case application.

The judge held that the application was premature in view of the clear provisions of the Kaduna State administration of criminal justice

The judge also noted that ruling on a no-case application should come after the accused persons might have taken their plea and after hearing on the whole matter is concluded.

The case was later adjourned till today,  November 18, and  Thursday, November 19, 2020, for the continuation of trial and to enable the prosecution counsel to present his witnesses before the court.

Court To Hear IMN’s Suit Challenging Proscription In September

Shiites Continue Protest, Call For El-Zakzaky’s Release
FILE PHOTO: Shiites members protest in Abuja on July 19, 2019.

 

The attempt by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) to challenge their proscription by the Federal Government today has suffered a setback.

This comes as a Federal High Court presided over by Justice Evelyn Maha adjourned the suit to September 11, 2019.

The adjournment is predicated on an application for extension of time filed by the Counsel to the Department of State Services.

Department of Security Service (DSS) is asking the court for more time to enable them regularise a motion filed in respect of the suit.

Members of IMN had earlier approached the court challenging the Federal Government’s decision proscribing the movement on the ground that it is a terrorist organisation.

PHOTOS: IMN Members Protest Continued Detention Of El-Zakzaky

 

The members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites, have once again taken to the streets of the nation’s capital to protest the continued detention of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakyzaky.

This time, the IMN members took their protest to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where a meeting between the minister and the diplomatic community on the 2019 General Elections was ongoing.

Below are some more photos from the protest.

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El-Zakzaky’s Trial: Police Warns Shiites In Kaduna Against Unlawful Procession

File photo of a police van in Kaduna State

 

Ahead of the arraignment of the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky at the Kaduna State High Court, tomorrow, Wednesday, police in the state have warned members of the movement not to embark on any form of unauthorised assembly or protest.

A statement signed on Tuesday by the police spokesperson in the state, Mukhtar Aliyu, warns that the police will not hesitate to deal decisively with any person or group of persons who deliberately attempt to violate the ban on unlawful assembly.

The police also adviced residents of the state capital to go about their businesses without fear. They assured them that adequate security has been put in place for the hitch-free court appearance of the IMN leader.

As part of the security measures put in place for a smooth process of the court trial, there will be traffic diversion in some parts of the state, especially the roads leading to the court.

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“Members of the public should note that the ban on all forms of processions and demonstrations in Kaduna State is still in force. Therefore, the public is advised to remain calm and not to be apprehensive where they observe an unusual number of security personnel in town.

“The Command wishes to notify the general public to exercise more security consciousness as they go about their daily chores and other lawful businesses by being extra vigilant of their environment, persons around them, activities of suspicious persons etc so as to prevent miscreants disturbing the peace of the State,” the statement read in part.

However, the spokesperson for the Islamic Movement, Ibrahim Musa says there is no plan by the Shiite members to cause public disorder during the arraignment of their leader by the Kaduna State Government.

They claimed that their previous protests have been peaceful adding that they have been victims of attacks.

Musa said, “we will, therefore, like to assure the public that our history speaks for us, we are always the victims of forceful aggression. We have never killed, maimed nor destroyed anybody’s property, and we will not start it now. All that we are saying and will keep on saying is free our leader.”

Residents Panic As Shiites, Police Clash In Kaduna

Police Officers at one of the areas affected during the clash between Shiite protesters and the police on Wednesday, June 20.

 

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shiites have clashed with the police in Kaduna State following an unapproved protest by the group.

The clash between the police and the IMN members has created panic in the state capital, a situation that has forced traders to close their shops for fear of being attacked.

The protest is coming a day to the trial of leader of the movement, Sheikh Ibraheem Elzakzaky by the Kaduna State government.

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Elzakazky is expected to be in court on Thursday over his alleged involvement in breach of public peace and murder.

Policemen have however been drafted to strategic locations and flashpoints in the state capital to avert any form of protest or breakdown of law and order by the IMN members.

Police Disperse El-Zazaki Protesters In Abuja

Zaria Residents Protest Against El-Zakzaky's ReleaseThe Police on Monday, dispersed members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria in Abuja as they once again trooped out to demand the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

The protesters marched through the streets with placards but were dispersed by the police who fired teargas and water cannons as they made their way towards the headquarters of the National Human Rights Commission.

The group has continued to protest across Nigeria since the arrest and detention of Sheikh El-Zazaki in December 2016, after a bloody clash between his followers and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Shiites Ask NHRC To Intervene In Zakzaky’s Continued Detention

Shiites, NHRCMembers of the outlawed Islamic Movement in Nigeria have appealed to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to intervene in the continued detention of their leader, Mr Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

The group, popularly known as Shiites, took to the NHCR headquarters in Abuja to protest what they called “a flaunt on the laws of the land with impunity” by the Federal Government.

The Federal High Court in Abuja had in a ruling on December 2, 2016, ordered the release of the Shiites’ leader and his wife in 45 days, a deadline which had expired.

The Federal Government, however, is yet to obey the order.

The Shiites maintained that the government must obey the court order and release their leader and his wife, Zeenah.

The Secretary to the Academic Forum of the Islamic group, Mr Abdullahi Musa, described the continued detention as “unconstitutional and an infringement on the rights” of their leader and his wife.

Zaria Residents Protest Against El-Zakzaky's Release
Mr Ibraheem El-Zakzaky

“The court has ordered the government to free him (El-Zakzaky) within 45 days and today (Tuesday) is the 47th day (and) the government has not done anything. It has not shown any response to the court of law and law of the land, but at the same time they are calling (on) us to be peaceful.

“We have been peaceful since last three decades; we have been peaceful in this country (but) they have been killing us. The reason why we are here is to let the masses know that this government is not ready to free our leader.

“He is an innocent person who has been in detention since last year. So let the people know that the government is not ready to free him despite the court order and that is why we choose to come to the human rights commission because the right of our leader is being violated,” Musa said.

The acting secretary of NHRC, Mrs Oti Ovrawah, commended the group for the peaceful demonstration.

She assured them that the commission would intervene in the matter as soon as possible.

“We are receiving your complaints now and the work of the commission is to pass your complaints and advise the government accordingly.

“We have heard your complaints here (and) we are going to do the needful. We are going to advise the government accordingly in line with your complaints,” Mrs Ovrawah assured the Shiites.

Court Orders Shiites Leader Ibrahim El-Zakzaky’s Release

Ibraheem Zakzaky, court, ShiitesA Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to release the leader of the outlawed Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, within 45 days.

In his judgment, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, ordered the Federal Government to provide an accommodation for El-Zakzaky, his wife and family members within Kaduna State or any part of the northern region.

The court declared the continuous detention of El-Zakzaky since December 13, 2015 as unlawful and illegal since the issue of protective custody was unknown to law or the National Security Agencies Act establishing the DSS.

The court further awarded the cost of 25 million Naira as general damages to be paid to Ibrahim El-Zakzaky who must be released unconditionally to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) within 45 days.

The IGP is also ordered to convey El-Zakzaky and his wife to the accommodation provided by the government.

The court also awarded 25m damages to Mrs Zakzaky, making a cumulative of 50 million Naira as general damages.

Sheikh El-Zakzaky was arrested by soldiers after long hours’ siege on his residence in Zaria on December 13, 2015.

One of his followers confirmed his arrest to Channels Television.

“I saw armoured tanks demolishing the Hussainiyya shrine and the residence of Sheikh El-Zakzaky,” he said.

The Nigerian Army and members of the sect have accused each other of instigating attacks that led to the death of members of the movement few days before his arrest.

After his arrest, the DSS said the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, is being detained at his own will.

The DSS had made the statement in defence of accusations by the council to the leader of the Shiites that his rights were being violated.

Counsel to the DSS, Mr Tijani Gazali, told reporters that the Shiite leader was held by security operatives at his own will and for his benefits.

Mr Gazali said: “He needs not give his consent because it is the duty of the DSS to protect every Nigerian especially one who is as vulnerable as the shite leader is at the moment”.

The group was outlawed by the Kaduna State Government in October in line with the advice of a panel set up to investigate the clash between the group  and the military.

A statement issued by the spokesman for the state governor, Samuel Aruwan, said the government secured an order from the State Executive Council to ban the Islamic Movement from either existing or operating in the state with immediate effect.

In proscribing the group, the government invoked Section 45 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution which empowers the state Governor to take such measures and actions for the promotion and protection of public safety, public order, public morality or public health, or the rights and freedom of all persons in the State.

The statement further explained that the action was to ensure that all persons and organisations were guided by lawful conduct and with due allegiance to the Nigerian state and its Constitution.

Kano Police Present Four Officers Allegedly Wounded By Shiites

kano, police, ShiitesPolice authorities in Kano state, have presented four of its men allegedly wounded by the outlawed Shiite members, during their Arba’een procession.

This comes nearly a week since the clash between mobile Police officers in the state and members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).

Presenting the officers to reporters at the command’s headquarters, Police Public Relations officer, DSP Magaji Majia, confirmed the recovery of some weapons from the Shiites on the day of the clash.

“These are the four Police officers wounded by Shiites before the arrival of police re-enforcement on the day of Arba’een trek and the weapons recovered comprise of one AK 47 rifle they snatched from our officer, one cartridge and many other local weapons were also seen in possession of the Shiites.”

In a related development, leader of the movement in Kano, Sheikh Sanusi Abdulkadir, denied allegations of attacking Police officers by his disciples during the procession.

He maintained that his disciples did not attack the Police and according to him,”even the gun shot on this officer was done by the police themselves”.

“You know if you want to justify hanging a dog, you just give him a bad name, otherwise how on earth will a defenseless man snatch a gun from an armed Police officer, it doesn’t make sense to me,” he said.

A statement by the group on Friday said soldiers at a checkpoint in Potiskum, Yobe State, had attempted to plant weapons in the luggage of members of the sect to blackmail them.  

Meanwhile, over 100 members of the group are still in Police custody for allegedly conducting illegal religious procession, attacking and killing Police officers, carrying dangerous weapons, inciting violence and causing various disturbances across the state.