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Court dismisses El-Zakzaky’s no-case application, orders continuation of trial

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THE Kaduna State High Court on Tuesday dismissed a no-case-submission application filed by Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the detained leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as ‘Shi’ite’,  and his wife, Zeenat.

The IMN leader pleaded not guilty to the charge levelled against him before the High Court in Kaduna.

The presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada had on August 7, scheduled October 29, for a final presentation of evidence on the matter after counsel to the defendants, Abubakar Marshall asked that the charges be dropped against the IMN leader.

El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, had been detained by the Nigerian Government since December 2015 after the Nigerian Army clashed with the IMN members in Zaria which claimed the lives of several the IMN members.

They are being prosecuted by the Kaduna State Government on eight counts of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of the public peace, among other allegations.

On August 7, the defendants through their lawyer, Marshall Abubakar who represented Femi Falana, the lead counsel, asked the court to quash the case against them.

Abubakar submitted that the Kaduna State Government has failed to “disclose an offence known to law contrary to Section 36 (8) and (12) of the 1999 constitution as amended” against his clients.

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At the hearing on Tuesday, the prosecution counsel, Dari Bayero, adopted his final arguments in the matter.

Justice  Kurada, dismissed the no-case submission, remarking that it was premature to rule on the application to quash the charges against the defendants.

He stated that the ruling was in view of the clear provisions of the Kaduna State Administration of Criminal Justice.

According to him, such an application should be ruled on after the defendants might have taken their plea and after hearing on the whole matter has been concluded.

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

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Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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