John Shiklam in Kaduna
A Kaduna State High Court presided by Justice Darius Khobo yesterday adjourned hearing on the motion for bail application by Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiite to July 25.
One of the counsel to Zakzaky, Maxwell Kyon, explained that the adjournment followed request by the prosecution council to be allowed to study “our response of the defence counsel on the application.”
According to Kyon, “The state prosecutors responded to the bail application only Thursday (Wednesday) and we responded today (Thursday) and they were served, but they insisted that they need to study our response, and that that is the basis for the adjournment of the case to July 25 by Justice Darius Khobo.”
The Shiite leader and his wife are standing trail for culpable homicide and unlawful assembly among other charges.
They have been in detention since December 2015 following a clash between his followers and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.
There was tight security around the court while heavily armed security personnel were deployed to strategic places around Kaduna metropolis to forestall any outbreak of law and order.
Also, there have been agitations by Zakaky’s followers for his release.
The Shiite members have been staging massive protests in Abuja and Lagos, which often resulting in violence clashes with the police.
Meanwhile the Chairman of the Free Zakzaky Campaign Committee, Abdurrahman Abubakar, has decried what he termed as the “dehumanising detention” of the IMN leader and his wife.
In a statement issued yesterday in Kaduna, Abdurrahman said the Shiite leader and his wife are in a distressed health condition, and need urgent medical attention.
He lamented that the court has not been on the side of the victims who are being persecuted by the government.
”Today, July 17, the Kaduna State High Court sat to hear an extraordinary application for bail on medical grounds instituted by counsel to our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Malama Zeenat Ibraheem.
“Unfortunately, the court once again shirked in its duties to be on the side of victims of extreme persecution by the government,” Abdurrahman said.
He said further that “when it mattered most, the court ducked and failed to stand for the truth and justice against tyranny and impunity.
“It would be recalled that the applicants are known to be clearly very ill in detention, consequent on the brutal wounds unjustifiably inflicted on them by the state agents in the name of Nigerian Army, the resultant prolonged dehumanising detention in the custody of the Department of State Security (DSS) and the obvious poisoning of the Sheikh.
”As a result of all these physical and psychological stresses, the Sheikh suffered series of mild strokes and is at the risk of further recurrences.
“Meanwhile, he lost one eye following the military attack and is at a severe risk of losing sight completely in the other.
He is now found to have more than twenty times the toxic levels of lead poison in his body.
“In spite of all these, the court once again has allowed the government to kill these innocent people by installments via unnecessary delays…”