A High Court in Kaduna on Thursday fixed Feb. 24 and Feb. 25, for the continuation of trial of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zinat.
Justice Gideon Kurada, the trial judge, at the resumed hearing of the case on Feb. 6, again adjourned the case to allow the defendants appear in court to take their plea.
Mr Femi Falana (SAN) told newsmen after the adjournment that Zinat, the second defendant and wife of El-Zakzaky was ill, therefore his clients were not in court.
The IMN leader and his wife Zinat are standing trial on allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of public peace, among other charges, in another court.
Falana said Justice Kurada had granted the defendants’ application to allow them access to their personal physicians to enable them to appear in court and take their plea at the next adjournment date.
He said the court had also granted the prosecution counsel’s application to amend the charges to reflect that the two other accused persons were still at large.
Falana assured that the defendants would be in court to take their pleas on the next adjourned date, especially after their personal physicians had been allowed access to them.
He said the defence counsel was not happy with the way the city of Kaduna was locked down by security agents every time the case came up.
The High Court had on Dec. 5, 2019, ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to transfer the IMN and his wife to the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Kaduna, to allow his lawyers easy access to him.
Justice Kurada’s order followed the application by another counsel to the defendants, Haruna Magashi, on Dec. 5, at resumed hearing of the main suit in Kaduna, eight months after the last hearing in March 2019.
Kurada had on March 24 adjourned the trial of the IMN leader indefinitely because the judge was to serve on the panel of the Presidential and National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal in Yobe.
Meanwhile, Mr Dari Bayero, lead prosecution to the Kaduna State Government, told newsmen that the team was ready for the trial with all witnesses set to testify in court.