Sola Ojo, Kaduna
A Kaduna high court on Thursday granted the embattled leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, permission to have access to their personal physicians, his lead counsel, Femi Falana told newsmen outside the courtroom.
The court also fixed February 24 and 25 for the trial of the Shia cleric and his wife over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of the public peace, among other charges in another court.
Lead counsel to the defendants Mr Femi Falana, SAN, said that the defendants were not in court due to the poor state of health of Zeenat, who is the second defendant in the trial.
According to Falana, Justice Kurada had granted the defendants’ application to allow them access to their personal physicians to enable them to appear in court and take their plea at the next adjournment date this month.
He added that the court also granted the application to amend the charges by the prosecution counsel to reflect that the two other accused persons were still at large.
Falana then assured that the defendants would be in court to take their plea during the next adjournment, especially with the access given to them to their personal physicians. He said the defence counsel was not happy with the way the city of Kaduna was being locked down by security agents every time the case came up.
The high court had on Thursday, December 5, 2019, ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to transfer the IMN leader and his wife to the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Kaduna, to allow his lawyers easy access to him.
However, the lead prosecutor representing the Kaduna State Government, Mr Dari Bayero, told reporters that the team was ready for the trial with all witnesses set to testify in court on the new adjournment date.