The Kaduna State High Court four, presided by Justice Gideon Kurada will on Tuesday next week 22nd January, 2019 commence hearing on the substantive suit brought against the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and three others by the Kaduna State government.
The revered Sheikh and three others including his wife, Malama Zeenatudeen Ibraheem are standing trial for alleged aiding and abbeting of sundry offences including culpable homicide punishable by death.
It will be recalled that the same Kaduna High Court had delivered a judgement in which it discharged and acquitted about 100 members of the Movement who were accused of carrying out the alleged culpable homicide and the other offences for which the Sheikh and 3 others are now standing trial for aiding and abbeting.
Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife have been in DSS custody for over three years now following a brutal attack at their residence by soldiers of the Nigerian Army, which resulted in the extra-judicial killing of over a thousand members of the Movement, including 3 sons of the Sheikh. This detention is in defiance of a two-year court judgement of an Abuja Federal High Court that ruled that the detention of the Sheikh and his wife severely violates their fundamental rights, is unconstitutional and therefore must be released unconditionally.
Last November, Justice Kurada had refused granting bail to the duo to enable them both attend to their ailing health conditions in detention, which was partly the result of injuries they sustained when the army attacked their home.
Sheikh Zakzaky had last year January suffered stroke in detention and since the attack by the soldiers three years ago, has not being allowed to optimally access healthcare. He had lost the left eye as a result of the military bullets unleashed on him during the attack and stands a risk of losing his sight completely except if urgent medical attention is provided. He also has been seen lately to be spotting a neck collar because of the inability to hold his head without the device, which is a direct consequence of the stroke he suffered while in DSS custody.
The health situation of Malama Zeenatudeen is similarly dire as she is known to be experiencing severe excruciating pains due to the presence of shrapnel lodged in her body following the horrendous attacks by the Nigerian military. At the moment, she is barely able to walk with support of a walking stick.
It remains to be seen how the case would progress and whether the prosecution would diligently pursue the case without resort to delay tactics.
It is expected that Femi Falana SAN will lead the team of legal persons to defend the Sheikh and the other three.
Reflection-online is poised to cover the case.