Politics

Absence of judge stalls El-Zakzaky’s trial

FG, El-Zakzaky in battle of wits in Indian hospital
Written by Maritime First

…As DSS arrest former Benue governor, Suswam***

The absence of Justice Gideon Kurada of a Kaduna High Court on Thursday staled the arraignment of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat over alleged culpable homicide.

The Kaduna State Government had brought an eight-count charge against the IMN leader and his wife.

They are being charged for alleged conspiracy, abating culpable homicide and other related offences.

Journalists were however stopped by the police from entering the court for the proceedings.

However,  Zakzaky’s counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), informed the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the judge was unavoidably absent to take the case.

He said both prosecuting and defence counsel have decided and picked July 11 as the next adjourned date.

Falana decried the action of police in stopping journalists and commuters who were interested in the case to witness the proceeding.

He said that there was no law in the country which stops people from witnessing the proceeding of a trial of any citizen.

NAN reports that on May 15, Zakzaky and his wife were brought to court for arraignment.

The prosecuting counsel, Dari Bayero however asked for more time to enable the prosecution serve the two other persons standing trial with the Shiites leader.

In the meantime, the Department of State Services on Wednesday arrested former Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam, over security issues in the state.

The former governor was arrested after the incumbent governor, Samuel Ortom, allegedly petitioned the DSS over the security situation in the state, as he (Suswam), was allegedly planning to make it ungovernable, reports Channels Television.

A source close to the governor who pleaded anonymity confirmed the arrest as well as the petition to Channels Television on Thursday.

The DSS had arrested the former Governor in 2017, after it said it uncovered a large cache of arms and ammunition from a property allegedly belonging to him at number 44 Aguiyi Ironsi Way, Maitama-Abuja.

According to a statement by the DSS spokesman, Tony Opuiyo, last year, the DSS had been informed that some incriminating items were stashed in the boots of cars parked at the property.

Additional report from Punch

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Maritime First