Court adjourns trial of El-Zakzaky, wife indefinitely – Independent Observers

Court adjourns trial of El-Zakzaky, wife indefinitely

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By Temitope Owotoki

A Kaduna state high court Monday adjourned indefinitely, the trial of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiite, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zinat.

The adjournment was made after the judge handling the case, Justice Gideon Kurada, was appointed a member of elections petitions tribunal.

El-Zakzaky and wife are standing trial over allegations of culpable homicides, unlawful assembly, and disruption of public peace, among others.

The judge, Justice Gideon Kurada, adjourned indefinitely, following his appointment to serve as the judge in the presidential and National Assembly elections petitions tribunal in Yobe.

Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria and lead counsel to the defendants in lamenting over the new development, said his clients were in dire need of medical attention, the reason they could not appear in court.

He said that his clients had not been given adequate medical care since December 14, 2015 when they were detained.

“So the court has adjourned Sine die, meaning indefinitely. My clients are yet to access any form of medical attention even after the court had ordered so. The case had to be adjourned as both my clients need time to attend to their health,” he said.

The court had on Tuesday, January 22, ordered the Kaduna state government to avail the cleric and his wife access to medical care. The judge had on that date also accepted the withdrawal of charges against the third and fourth defendants, Yahya Yakubu and Sunusi Abdulqadir, who were standing trial alongside the IMN leader.

Dari Bayero, the Prosecution counsel, said that the court had asked the prosecution to amend its charges to conform with the new development.

El-Zakzaky was reported to be suffering from glaucoma and had completely lost one of his eyes, his lead counsel, Femi Falana, told a court in Kaduna on Tuesday, January 22. The senior lawyer said this when the case against El-Zakzaky came up for hearing at the high court.

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