Again, Kaduna Court Adjourns El-Zakzaky’s Trial

 

A Kaduna State High Court has again adjourned the trial of the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) Sheikh Ibrahim El Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat.

A new date of February 24th and 25th was fixed by the trial judge, Justice Gideon Kurada during the hearing of the suit on Thursday.

At the resumed hearing, Justice Kurada also 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 to commence without delay.

READ ALSO: Security Beefed Up In Kaduna For El-Zakzaky’s Resumed Trial

He ordered that the defendants should be allowed to be seen by their private doctors at the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) facility in the Kaduna State capital with close supervision of the facility management.

Counsel to El-Zakzaky, Demi Falana, however, lamented over the incessant adjournment of the case. He noted that this is affecting the health and comfort of his clients.

Although both defendants were not in court during today’s sitting, security was however beefed up in the Kaduna State as all major roads leading to the Kaduna State High Court Complex were cordoned off by security operatives.

Security was also beefed up at the court premises, to avert breakdown of law and order, especially with the violent protests by IMN members.

El-Zakzaky and his wife are facing eight counts by the Kaduna State Government over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of the public peace, among others.

The IMN leader and his wife have been in detention since their arrest in December 2015 following a bloody clash between his members and soldiers in Zaria Kaduna State.

During the last court sitting on December the 5th, 2019, the presiding Judge, Justice Gideon Kurada ordered the Department of State Security Service (DSS) to transfer the IMN leader and his wife to the detention facility of the Nigerian Correctional Service in Kaduna state, in order to allow their lawyers have easy access to them.

Police Arraign 60 Shi’ite Members In Abuja

File photo of police officers on the streets during Shiites protest in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

 

A total number of 60 members of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria, (IMN) popularly known as Shi’ite Group who were arrested during the July 22, 2019 protest in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have been arraigned before an FCT High Court.

The members who were charged to court by the FCT command of the Nigerian Police all entered a not guilty plea to the charges which border on homicide, disturbances of public peace and destruction of government properties.

READ ALSO: Dino Melaye Submits Fresh Petition Against Conduct Of Kogi Election

The protest which took place within the Central Business District of Abuja on July 22nd left a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Usman Umar and Precious Owolabi a corps member with Channels Television dead.

The defendants who claim not to understand the English Language had the charges read to them in Hausa Language.

The prosecution counsel, Simon Laounge urged the court to remand the defendants at the correctional yard of the Nigerian Prisons in Kuje having being held in custody by the special anti-robbery squad.

He also urged the court to move its sitting to Kuje due to logistical reasons.

The defence counsel, Bala Dakum did not oppose the prosecutors’ request but told the court that he intends to move a bail application.

The trial judge, Justice Sulaiman Belgore remanded the defendants in SARS custody until December 10 when bail application will be heard and the venue of trial decided.

Nine Police Officers Injured In Clash With Shiite Members At National Assembly

 

Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) loyal to Ibrahim El-Zakzaky have injured at nine police officers during a protest at the National Assembly complex.

The protesters stormed the parliament building on Tuesday, demanding the release of their leader, El-Zakzaky.

They were denied entrance at the second gate, after gaining access through the front gate by the three arms zone.

Vehicles were destroyed and burnt, while nine officers sustained injuries to the head and leg when the protesters attacked them.

According to a statement by the Police Public Relations Officer, FCT Command, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, two officers who were shot on the leg and seven personnel who sustained injuries during the clash, have been rushed to the hospital.

DSP Manzah added that 40 members of the sect have been arrested in connection with the violent protest, and investigation is in progress.

“Members of the sect during the violent protest shot two (2) police personnel on the leg, while clubs and stones were used to inflict injuries on seven (7) other policemen. The injured policemen have been taken to the hospital for prompt medical attention.

“Meanwhile, forty (40) members of the sect have been arrested in connection with the violent protest. Investigation is in progress. Those arrested in the process will be dealt with in accordance with the appropriate law of the land.”

RELATED: PHOTOS: Shiite Members Storm National Assembly, Clash With Police

Meanwhile, President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has visited the injured offices, but chose not to comment until he is fully briefed about the incident.

El-Zakzaky has been in custody since fighting between his supporters and the army broke out in December 2015.

Zakzaky’s supporters have repeatedly protested in Abuja and several northern cities against the continued detention of their leader.

Shiite Group Vows To Continue Protest Until Release Of El-Zakzaky

 

Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) have vowed to continue their protest until their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, is released from the custody of the Federal Government.

Spokesman of the movement, Abdullahi Musa, urged the Federal Government to immediately release El-Zakzaky who has been in detention for about three years.

Members of the movement took to the streets of Abuja on Tuesday in a peaceful procession to press home their demands.

READ ALSO: Police Reform Bill Will Instill Public Confidence In The Force, Says Ejiofor

The IMN leader is facing trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of the public peace, among other charges in a Kaduna State High Court.

He and his wife were first arraigned on May 15, 2018, two years after their arrest in December 2015 in Zaria.

The court had on several sitting, denied the IMN leader bail, ordering that they remain in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) throughout the period of their trial.

Police Officers Hospitalised After Clash With Shiites

Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria a.k.a Shiites clash with Police officers in Abuja on May 14, 2018.

 

Some police officers have been landed in the hospital following a clash between them and some members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, also known as Shiites.

The police spokesperson in the Federal Capital Territory, Anjuguri Manzah, disclosed this when he took journalists to see the injured officers, Superintendent of Police Ogah Linus and Inspector Mary Ameh at the Garki Hospital Abuja.

The Shiite members were said to have stormed the Federal Secretariat complex in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory on Monday, to protest the release of their leader Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife from the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Read Also: Police, Shiites Clash At Federal Secretariat In Abuja

The angry protesters allegedly grounded the complex and took over the roads in the area, just a few metres from the Presidential Villa and the National Assembly complex.

They were reportedly armed with stones and other objects which they used to destroy the police vehicles.

The Police authorities, however, said they arrested 60 members of the group.

According to Manzah, as much as the police respect the rights of citizens to protest, such protests must be within the ambits of the law.

The Kaduna State Government on Tuesday arraigned the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) Ibrahim El-zakzaky before a state high court.

 

He added that investigations are underway to ensure the violent protesters are made to face the full force of the law.

Monday’s incident is the latest in the series of clashes between both parties this year.

In a recent faceoff on April 23, the Shiite members threw stones and other objects at the security operatives, causing damage to cars and buildings in the Maitama area of Abuja.

In return, the police fired tear gas at the protesters to disperse them. It later cordoned off part of the road between Eagle Square and Unity Fountain in the FCT.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna State Government on Tuesday arraigned the IMN leader and his wife before a state high court.

They are being arraigned on eight counts of alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disturbance of public peace, among other allegations.

Police Disperse ‘Free El-Zakzaky’ Protesters With Teargas

Supporters of  the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shi’ites, have taken to the streets of Abuja in what they have termed a ‘free El-Zakzaky’ protest.

In an attempt to disperse the protesters who converged on Unity Fountain, the Police sprayed them with teargas, having failed to disperse them with water, which thereafter forced them to move into the streets.

Protesters being Dispersed.

Former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Professor Chidi Odinkalu, who addressed the protesters before they were chased out of the Unity Fountain, advised the Federal Government to respect the rule of law by releasing the group leader, (Sheikh) Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had on December 2, 2016, ordered his release and awarded a cumulative sum of 50 million Naira to the Zakzakys and ordered the AGF and IGP to provide him a new accommodation and security in any part of Kaduna or Northern region that they prefer within 45 days; a judgment which is however yet to be obeyed.

The Shi’ites leader has however remained in custody for 485 days now, despite the judgment.

Hundreds Of Shi’ite Protest Continued Detention Of El Zakzaky

Hundreds Of Shi’ite Protest Continued Detention Of El ZakzakyMembers of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shi’ites in Nasarawa state, have again staged another protest over the continued incarceration of their leader, (Sheik) Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

This time, the IMN protesters joined their counterparts across the 36 states of the federation including Abuja, protesting what they termed illegal detention of their leader, due to the FG’s decision not to obey court order for the immediate release of El-Zakzaky, his wife and other members of the movement in 2016.

The continued detention of the IMN leader and his wife since December 2015, after the murder of over 300 of his followers has been an issue for the members of the movement leading protests for his release.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had on December 2, 2016 had awarded a cumulative sum of 50 million Naira to the Zakzakys and ordered the AGF and IGP to provide him a new accommodation and security in any part of Kaduna or Northern region that they prefer within 45 days; a judgment which is however yet to be obeyed.

The protesters, comprising of women, youths and children, gathered at the popular Lafia eid prayer ground along Shendam road.

They were seen carrying placards with different inscriptions lambasting the Federal Government for disobeying court order.

Chanted praises of the embattled leader, they demanded his unconditional release, as well as that of other members who have been in custody for over eight months.

Singing in the Hausa, Arabic and English languages, the group pledged their allegiance stating: “We will never rest until our leader and others are freed, despite stories of El-zakzaky’s deteriorating health condition due to gunshot wounds.

 

Shiites In Yola Demand Release Of Sheik Zakzaky

Shiites In Yola Demand Release Of Sheik ZakzakyThe Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Adamawa state chapter has described the continuous detention of its leader, Sheik Zakzaky, by the federal government as unconstitutional and a violation of his rights.

The group said this during a street march it organised in Yola, Adamawa state to express their dissatisfaction over the federal government’s refusal to release their leader despite the court’s order to do so.

The protesters comprising men, women and children marched through the streets of Yola, the state capital with placards, and chanting Islamic songs.

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.

Police Intercept Weapons In Kano Allegedly Belonging To Shiites

Police intercept weapons belonging to ShiitesPolice have intercepted a truck in Kano carrying weapons and supplies allegedly belonging to members of the outlawed Islamic Movement in Nigeria popularly known as Shiites.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, the spokesman for the Kano State Police Command, Mr Magaji Majia, said that the truck was coming from Potiskum in Yobe State and was said to be going to Zaria where the Shiites were marking the Arba’een ritual of the killing of Imam Hussain.

“You can see the weapons made up of cutlasses catapult, generators and other supplies and the truck full of clothes and flags of the movement.”

According to Majia, the weapons are illegal and capable of killing its target on the spot.

“You can remember few days ago, members of this movement attacked and killed one police officer and injuring three others during their illegal procession. Since then, we embarked on investigation, including stop and search, to see if it is true they are carrying dangerous weapons, the results of such investigation led us to this discovery,” he told reporters.

Meanwhile, store keeper of the group, who maintained that he was not aware that weapons were among the supplies he was escorting to Zaria, also disclosed that the weapons were used to construct tents in an event of stop over during the course of their seven day trek to Zaria.

“We don’t carry weapons. I am not aware the weapons are here but we use them to make tent and to protect women and children against intruders especially at night since we are all trekking”.

In a raid in Kano, over 40 people were arrested by operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS) at the popular Wapa Bureau De Change market in the state.

Although no official statement from the DSS in Kano was issued to that effect, association of the Bureau De Change in the state through the union auditor general one Kabir Abdul confirmed the arrest.

“They came in arresting people on allegation that we are selling dollars above government approved price and up till this time we don’t know where they are keeping our members,” Mr Abdul told Channels Television.

Attempts to speak with DSS was not successful, as the spokesman for the agency told channels Television that he was on leave and that he had no knowledge that Wapa Bureau De Change market was raided by his operatives.

Court Grants Bail To Seven Shiites In Abuja

Shiites, Abuja, CourtA Magistrate Court in Karu has granted bail to seven members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, who are popularly known as Shiites.

The court on Friday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, granted them bail of 100,000 Naira each on the three-count charge against each of them.

The defendants have been charged for the offences of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly and inciting public peace, contrary to sections 97, 102 and 114 of the Penal Code.

Magistrate Abubakar Umaru granted the defendants bail with two reliable and reasonable sureties each in like sum.

He stated that the sureties must be civil or public servants in grade level eight and above.

The Magistrate further ruled that the sureties must live within the jurisdiction of the court and ordered that their addresses be verified by the officer of the court.

He asked the sureties to submit their passport photographs and national identity cards to the court.

Latest Protest Disrupted

Before their bail was granted, Shiites have continued to stage countless protests to demand the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

However, the latest protest was disrupted by police officials on Thursday in the Federal Capital Territory.

The Commissioner of Police in Abuja, Alkali Usman, had defended the action, saying it was to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the Federal Capital Territory.

Mr Zakzaky has been in detention since December 2015, after a bloody clash between the Shiites and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.

We Are Holding El-Zakzaky In Custody At His Will – DSS

Sheik-El-Zakzaky-ShiiteThe Department of State Security Service (DSS) says the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, is being detained at his own will.

The DSS is making 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 on Tuesday 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”.

But in his defence, counsel to El-Zakzaky, Mr Festus Okoye, said he had not received any statement from his client that would corroborate the claims of the DSS.

He also accused the DSS of breaching the fundamental human rights of his client.

The hearing on the suit filed by the Shiite leader challenging his arrest and continued detention could not commence following the fresh issues raised by the DSS that he had been held under protective custody and not detention.

The security agency asked the court to allow it an extension of time in order to file a counter affidavit and written address on the motion on notice filed by El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zainab.

With no objections from the parties in the suit the trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, adjourned the case to July 13 for hearing and to also allow El-zakzaky’s lawyer respond to the new dimension raised by the DSS.

The embattled Shiite leader is seeking damages to the tune of two billion Naira against the Federal Government for unlawful arrest and detention.