The leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, Sheik Ibrahim El-zakzaky, has been arraigned before the Kaduna High Court.
The Kaduna State Government on Tuesday arraigned the leader of Shiites who has been in detention since 2015.
On 11 May, SERAP had petitioned Mr. Diego García-Sayán, UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers requesting him to use his good offices to “prevail on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to end persistent disobedience of court rulings and orders and uphold the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended) and the country’s international obligations on protection of the independence and integrity of the judiciary.”
“Nigerian authorities have disobeyed court orders in several cases including those involving the Islamic Movement of Nigeria Leader Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, the former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), and SERAP. Many state governments in Nigeria also continue to flagrantly disobey court orders with almost complete impunity,” SERAP deputy director Timothy Adewale said in a statement.
Four days after, the IMN leader and his wife are being arraigned on eight counts of alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disturbance of public peace, among other allegations.
They were brought to the court from Abuja, the nation’s capital in two black SUVs amidst tight security.
At the commencement of the hearing, the defence counsel, Mr. Maxwell Kyon, made an oral application for the couple on grounds that they had been in detention for over two years without trial.
Justice Kurada, however, refused the oral application made by Mr Kyon and told him to rather file a written application which will be heard before or on the next adjourned date.
Consequently, he adjourned the case till June 21, 2018.
El-zakzaky and his wife have been held in prison without trial since his arrest by the Nigerian government in December 2015.
While his followers regularly take to the streets to protest his prolonged detention, Tuesday’s arraignment sparked a fresh protest as the members blocked the popular Ahmadu Bello way and other major roads in the state capital to demand his release.