The Kaduna State High Court has been urged to hasten the conviction of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, better known as Shi’ites and his wife Zeenat.
Naija News understands that the call was made by the prosecution team at the resumption of the court trial on Wednesday, March 31 even as the prosecution counsel closes its case.
The prosecution team, led by the state’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Dari Bayero, prayed the court, presided over by Justice Gideon Kurada, to sentence the defendants, noting that the state government had tendered all the exhibits and evidences against the defendants before the court.
Bayero told the court that the state closed its case after presenting its 15th witness during the secret trial, hence, the need for the court to overrule the no-case submission and convict the defendants accordingly.
He said: “We are satisfied with the case so far. We have presented 15 witnesses, including army generals.”
However, the lead counsel for the Shi’ite leader, Femi Falana, SAN, represented by Marshall Abubakar, said his team would open defence at the adjourned date.
According to him, the defence had before the commencement of trial prayed the court to quash the charges. Falana noted that the 15 witnesses did not establish any case against the IMN leader, his wife and others standing trial before the court.
Kurada in his ruling, adjourned the case till May 25 for the defendants to open their defence.
Naija News understands that the trial of El-Zakzay and his wife, Zeenat, began on November 18, 2020. The Shi’ite leader and his wife were charged with eight counts bordering on culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disruption of the public peace, among others by the Kaduna State Government, following the clash of the Nigerian Army with the sect in December 2015.
El-Zakzaky, his wife and other members of the group had been in detention since 2015 despite court rulings that the IMN leader is released, it could be recalled.
Meanwhile, another batch of 418 Nigerians stranded in Saudi Arabia has been successfully evacuated back to the country by the Nigerians In Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Naija News reports.
The new returnees arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Int’l Airport, Abuja via Saudi Air at about 1220hrs today Wednesday, 31st, March 2021.