A Kaduna High Court on Thursday fixed February 24 and February 25, 2020 for the trial of leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat.
The presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada, at the resumed hearing of the case on Thursday again adjourned the case to allow the defendants appear in court to take their plea.
According to The Nation, Counsel to the defendants, Mr Femi Falana, (SAN) told journalists after the adjournment that the defendants were not in court due to the poor state of health of Zeenat, the second defendant in the trial.
The IMN leader and his wife Zeenat are standing trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of the public peace, among other charges, in another court.
Falana said, Justice Kurada had granted the defendants’ application to allow them access to their personal physicians to enable them appear in Court and take their plea at the next adjournment date.
He said the court had 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 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 defense counsel were 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.
Justice Kurada’s order was a sequel to the application by another Counsel to the defendants, Haruna Magashi, on December 5, at resumed hearing of the main suit in Kaduna, eight months after the last hearing in March, 2019. Kurada had on March 24 adjourned the trial of the IMN leader indefinitely to enable him serve on the panel of the Presidential and National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal, in Yobe state.
Meanwhile, lead prosecution to the Kaduna state government, Mr. Dari Bayero told newsmen that the team was ready for the trial with all witnesses set to testify in court.