John Shiklam in Kaduna
Eight military officers are to appear before a Kaduna High Court to testify in a case involving 92 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiite.
The Shiite members are standing trail following their alleged involvement in the clash with the Nigerian Army in Zaria in December 2015.
The clash led to the death of over 300 members of the Shiite members allegedly killed by soldiers as well as an army corporal allegedly killed by the accused the Shiite members standing trail.
The Shiites who have been in prison custody since their arrest in December 12, 2015, are standing trial for alleged culpable homicide (killing of one Corporal Yakubu Dankaduna), rioting and unlawful assembly.
The presiding judge, Justice David Shiri Wyoms, adjourned the case to March 1, 2017 when it came up for continuation of hearing yesterday.
The case was adjourned following an application by the Dari Bayero , the Director of Public Prosecution in the Kaduna state Ministry of Justice.
Bayero, in a motion, had informed the Court that he had logistic challenges in bringing the military officers to testify in the matter.
So far 31 witnesses have testified, in the case and 50 exhibits have been tendered.
Responding to the motion for the adjournment, counsel to the IMN, Festus Okoye, pointed out that the prosecutor had over a month to put his house in order but failed to do so, noting that the accused persons have been in prison custody for 14 months awaiting trial.
He however said he will not object to the adjournment of the case based on the undertaking by the prosecutor to produce all the military officers mentioned as witnesses in the case before the court at the next adjourned date.
In his ruling, Justice David Wyoms, adjourned the case to the March 1, 2017 and directed the prosecutor to produce all the eight named witnesses who are army officers at the next adjourned date.