El-Zakzaky, Wife unfit to stand trial, court rules

El-Zakzaky, Wife unfit to stand trial, court rules

NEWS DIGEST – The Kaduna State High Court has again adjourned the trial of the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat.

Justice Gideon Kurada adjourned the trial of the couple until April 23 and 24 during their arraignment in court on Monday.

Both defendants were expected to take their plea at the resumed hearing of their case, but could not do so due to their poor health condition.

In his ruling, Justice Kurada held that the defendants were not medically fit to stand trial hence their trial could not go on as planned.

He, therefore, ordered the management of the Nigerian Correctional Service to fully comply with an earlier directive on February 6, that the IMN leader and his wife should be properly attended to by their personal physicians under close supervision by the facility management.

El-Zakzaky and his wife are facing eight counts over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disruption of public peace, and criminal conspiracy among others.

The charges were filed against them by the Kaduna State government.

The defendants were brought to the court amid heavy security presence while security operatives cordoned off all major roads leading to the court complex and the court premises.

This comes about three weeks after the last hearing of the suit following the adjournment of the case for eight months.

On February 6, Justice Kurada had amended the charges against the defendants to enable the trial of the IMN leader and his wife commence without delay.

He also ordered that the defendants should be allowed to be seen by their private doctors at the Nigerian Correctional Service facility in the Kaduna State capital, with close supervision of the facility management.

The IMN leader and his wife have been in detention since their arrest in December 2015 following a bloody clash between the Shiites and soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna State.

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