Absence of Judge Stalls Arraignment of El-zakzaky, Wife as Supporters Kill Police Inspector

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

However, a clash between the police and supporters of Shi’ite leader, led to the death of a police inspector in Kaduna, Thursday. 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 barred by the police from entering the court for the proceedings. El-zakzaky’s counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), informed newsmen that the judge was unavoidably absent to take the case.
He said both prosecuting and defence counsels have decided and picked July 11 as the next adjourned date.

Falana decried the action of police in barring journalists and commuters who were interested in the case to witness the proceeding. He said there was no law in the country which stops people from witnessing the proceeding of a trial of any citizen.

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On May 15, El-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.

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Meanwhile, the police in Kaduna State on Thursday said an officer was killed following a clash between the police and suspected members of IMN. Members of the sect were protesting the arraignment of their leader, who was taken to court on Thursday after years in detention. The police responded by shutting down many highways in the city.

El-zakzaky’s arraignment was however stalled by the absence of the trial judge in court. The victim, a police inspector, was said to have died while being taken to Barau Dikko Hospital, Kaduna after sustaining injuries in the clash‎.

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An eye witness who simply identified himself as Sani said the officer was attacked along Ibrahim Taiwo Road, by Ahmadu Bello Way in the state capital. He said that people in the area shut down their shops and offices and fled from the clash.

“We have all closed our office and gone back home after a policeman was attacked and killed closed to our‎ office,” Sani said. Police spokesperson, Muktar Aliyu, confirmed that the officer was stoned and stabbed to death.

”Yes, a police officer was killed by Shiites protesters today (Thursday). He was stabbed and stoned to death. “He died on his way to Barau Dikko hospital and was confirmed dead at the hospital,” he said.
He said the police arrested about 11 Shiite members on Thursday.

“Some of those arrested were among those that killed the policeman,” he said. According to him, the arrested persons will be charged to court. El-zakzaky has been in detention since December 2015 since over 300 of his followers were killed by soldiers.

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The army accused the Shi’ites of blocking a major road being used by the army chief, Tukur Buratai.

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