…prosecution counsel to present evidence November 18 & 19
Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Kaduna State High Court on Tuesday dismissed a no-case-submission application brought before it by the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria otherwise known as ‘Shi’ite’, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and wife, Zeenat.
IMN leader who has been standing court trial since 2015 had for the first time in five years, pleaded not guilty to the charge preferred against him before the High Court in Kaduna.
The court presided over by Justice Gideon Kurada had on August 7,2020 fixed October 29, 2020 for ruling on the matter.
This was after Counsel to the defendants, Abubakar Marshall on behalf of Femi Falana(SAN) asked that the charges be quashed as preferred against the IMN leader.
Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, had been detained by the Nigerian Government since December 2015 after the Nigerian Army clashed with the IMN in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The clash claimed several lives of the IMN members.
The IMN leader and wife were charged on eight counts of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of the public peace, among other allegations.
When the case up on Tuesday, amid tight security, the Prosecution Counsel, Dari Bayero, adopted his final arguments in the matter.
The presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada, thereafter, dismissed the no-case submission, noting that it was premature to rule on the application to quash the charges against the defendants.
This, Kurada ruled, was in view of the clear provisions of the Kaduna State Administration of Criminal Justice.
According to the him, such application should be ruled on after the defendants might have taken their plea and after hearing on the whole matter has been concluded.
Meanwhile, the case was adjourned to November 18 and 19, 2020 for the prosecuting counsel to present his evidence before the court and continuation of the trial proper.
Bayero while speaking with Journalists shortly after hearing, said the prosecution team had assembled more than 20 witnesses to give evidence before the court among them the Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Police.
The Prosecution Counsel is also the State Director of Public Prosecution.
However, holding briefs for the lead counsel for the IMN leader, Femi Falana, Abubakar Marshall, told Journalists that his motion on no-case submission had been reserved until the end of hearing in the main suit.
Marshall said the IMN leader took not guilty plea, noting that the team were waiting for the prosecution counsel to present witnesses.