Shi’ite leader, El-Zakzaky, arraigned in Kaduna
El-Zakzaky, who was said to have been smuggled into the state from the Department of State Services detention facility in Abuja where he was kept under the cover of darkness on Monday, was in company with his wife, Zeena.
El-Zakzaky was charged with unlawful gathering, criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide, which are punishable by death.
The road leading to the court was blocked by heavily armed security operatives in two Hilux vans belonging to the DSS. Passersby and other road users, except the staff members of the high court, were turned back. Vehicles leading to the area were also diverted to other routes.
Also, journalists and sympathisers of the Shi’ite leader, who trooped to the court premises, were barred from entering.
When the case was mentioned, the Kaduna State Director of Public Prosecutions, Bayero Dari, announced appearance for the prosecution. At that point, the presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada, asked about the defendants. El-Zakzaky and his wife were brought into the courtroom by DSS operatives.
But the DPP sought more time to enable the prosecution to serve the charge sheet on the other two persons standing trial with El-Zakzaky and Zeena.
On their part, the defence lawyers made an oral application for bail and prayed to be given an unfettered access to their clients.
The court asked that the bail application be brought formally but granted the request of the defence counsel for unhindered access to El-Zakzaky following adequate notice of at least three days.
The case was adjourned till June 21, 2018, based on the application by the prosecution for more time. The Shi’ite leader and his wife were consequently returned to Abuja.