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Court orders El-Zakzaky, wife to remain in prison

A KADUNA State High Court on Tuesday ordered continuation of the trial of the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zazaky, and his wife, Zeenat.

The court also dismissed an application of no-case submission filed by the leader of the Shi’ites group.

El-Zakzaky, who was brought to court amid tight security, had asked the court to quash the state government’s case against him and his wife, for lack of evidence.

In his ruling, Justice Gideon Kurada dismissed the no-case submission, saying it was premature to rule on the application to quash the charges against the defendants in view of the clear provisions of the Kaduna State Administration of Criminal Justice.

The judge had fixed yesterday for ruling in the motion, after counsel to the defendant, Abubakar Marshall, holding the brief for Femi Falana (SAN), asked the court to quash the charges preferred against El-Zakzaky by the state government for not “disclosing an offence known to law contrary to sections 36 (8) and (12) of the 1999 constitution as amended”.

At the resumed sitting, Justice Kurada again reserved ruling in the motion until hearing in the substantive suit.

Also, the judge, after taking the pleas of the defendants adjourned till November 18 and November 19, 2020, to enable the prosecution present its witnesses.

He held that such application should be ruled on, after the defendants might have taken their pleas and after hearing on the matter would have been concluded.

El-Zakzaky and his wife are standing trial on eight-count charges of culpable homicide, criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly and disruption of the public peace, among others.

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But the defendants pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.

The matter was adjourned till November 18 and 19, 2020, for continuation of trial and to enable the prosecution counsel to present his evidence before the court.

In separate interviews, the defence and prosecuting counsel differed on the court ruling.

El-Zakzaky and his wife were arrested and detained in December 2015, following a bloody clash between IMN members and soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna State.

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