John Shiklam in Kaduna
The trial of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, has been adjourned to January 25 and 26, 2021, for further hearing.
El-Zakzaky and his wife are standing trial on an eight-count charge bordering on alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of public peace, among others.
The duo have been in detention since December 2015, following a clash between IMN members and the Nigerian Army personnel in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada of the Kaduna State High Court, announced the adjournment on Thursday at the continuation of trial which started Wednesday.
Although journalists were not allowed into the court, four witnesses were said to have testified during the proceedings.
El-Zakzaky’s counsel, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), told newsmen in an interview that three of the witnesses that testified were the defendants’ neighbours in Zaria, while the fourth witness was a Director of the State Security Service (SSS) in Kaduna State.
He said: “Prosecution called four witnesses today, a retired director of SSS and three other witnesses who are neighbours of our clients.
“So they gave their evidence. Essentially they talked about their relationship with the defendants.
“And the state security service officer claimed they took care of the defendants after they were transferred to them by the military.
“So we cross-examined them and the case has been adjourned to January 25 and January 26, 2021 for further hearing.”
Two military officers had testified at the resumption of trial on Wednesday.
The lead prosecution counsel, Mr. Bayero Dyari of the Kaduna State Ministry of Justice, said 18 witnesses had been assembled to give evidence in the role of defendants during the military operation that lasted between the 12th and the 14th December, 2015.