A High Court in Kaduna State yesterday ordered the Correctional Centre, Kaduna, to allow the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zinat full access to medical services before taking their plea on April 23.
The court presided over by Justice Gideon Kurada, gave the order, after the Controller of the Correctional Centre, Kaduna, appeared before the court at 12 noon yesterday as ordered.
Kurada had earlier ordered the Controller to appear to explain why he refused to allow physicians to the two defendants access to them in the facility as directed by the court on February 6.
Justice Kurada, the trial judge, at the resumed hearing of the case on February 6, adjourned the case February 24 and February 25 for the defendants to appear in court and take their plea.
Human rights activist and lawyer to the defendants, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) had on Feb 6 said the defendants were not in court because “Zinat, the second defendant and wife of El-Zakzaky was ill; therefore my 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.
Justice Kurada had granted the defendants’ application to allow them access to their personal physicians to enable them appear in court and take their plea at the next adjournment date of Feb 24 and Feb 25.
At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, Marshall Abubakar, also counsel to the defendants told the court that the physicians were denied access to his clients against the court’s directive.
Even though Zinat was in court, however, Abubakar requested that the court should invite the controller to give reason for disobeying court order.
The request was granted and the case was stood down to allow the controller to appear before the trial judge.
Abubakar told journalists at the resumed hearing that the controller of the centre appeared in court and gave reasons for refusing to allow the physicians access to his clients.
He said the court had renewed the order to the centre to allow the two defendants full access to all necessary services they need for them to be fit to appear and take their plea in the next adjourned date.
On his part, the Mr. Dari Bayero, who is the lead prosecution in the suit said the court had allowed the two defendants full access to medical services so that there will be no excuses when they come to take their plea on April 23 and April 24.
Bayero said the prosecution is ready with its witnesses to prosecute the case in the court on that day.