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Osinbajo’s visit to Kaduna State stalls El-Zakzaky’s trial

THE trial of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shiite Islamic sect, has been stalled because of the visit of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to Kaduna State on Thursday.

Osinbajo was in the State to attend the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) clinic put together by the State Government.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Governor Nasir El-Rufai inspecting goods displayed by one of the participants at the MSME clinic on Thursday.

The trial judge, Gideon Kurada, had fixed Thursday to hear the bail application filed by El-Zakzaky’s lawyer, but as the case was brought up, the prosecution counsel, Dari Bayero, asked the court to adjourn sitting because of lack of adequate security in Kaduna town.

Bayero explained that the security agencies had deployed their operatives personnel to provide security for the visit of the Vice President, hence their inability to provide adequate security for the trial to go on as planned.

Justice Kurada granted the request and adjourned the case to November 7, to rule on the bail application.

The Kaduna State government had brought an eight-count charge against El-Zakzaky and his wife, accusing him of leading an outlawed organisation, illegal possession of firearms and being a leader of an outlawed organisation.

El-Zakzaky and his wife have remained in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since December 2015 following a clash between the IMN and soldiers of the Nigerian Army.

The clash had lead to the death of over 300 Shitte members and one soldier, according to a panel of inquiry set up by the Kaduna State government to look into the case.

Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Abuja high court had ordered that El-Zakzaky should be granted bail and also be provided with a decent accommodation in any Northern State of his choice. Justice Dimgba also ordered the government to pay El-Zakzaky the sum of N25 million in damages for violating his fundamental human rights. But almost two years after the judgement was given, the federal government is yet to comply.

Shiite protesters in Abuja calling for the release of their leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky. The protesters carried banners El-Zakzaky’s sons whom they said were killed by Nigerian soldiers.

Members of the IMN have continued to hold peaceful protests in Abuja, Kaduna and some other Northern States, demanding that their leader be released in accordance with the rule of law.

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