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Islamic leader, El-Zakzaky’s trial resumes today

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… One feared dead as Police disperse preacher’s follower in Abuja

THE trial of the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim Elzakzaky and his wife Zeenat resumes today at a Kaduna State high court sitting in the state capital.

  Elzakzaky and his wife are standing trial on an eight-count charge bordering on alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of the public peace, among others.

  On Sept. 29, 2020, the IMN leader and his wife pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.

  The case was adjourned on March 8, 2021, by the presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada after the prosecuting counsel; Chris Umar presented 14 witnesses who testified against the IMN leader.

Among the witnesses include two Army officers, a retired Director of State Security Service, police officers and a medical doctor who testified before the court.

  Before adjourning the case during the last sitting on March 8, the court also admitted several items in evidence including video recordings, Dane guns, and SIMCARDS.

  At the resumed trial today, the prosecution counsel is expected to present one additional witness before the court after which he will close his case while the counsel to Sheikh Elzakzaky will open his defence.

  Elzakzaky and his wife Zeenat have been in detention since their arrest in December 2015 following a bloody clash between IMN members and soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna State.

  Meanwhile, one person identified as Muhsin Abdallah was feared killed yesterday when the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command dispersed protesting members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) at Maitama, Abuja.

  FCT police command was however silent over the incident even as the sect alleged that the deceased was killed by stray bullets fired by the police operatives while many others sustained injuries.

  The spokesperson of IMN, Ibrahim Musa, alleged that “the police fired at the Shi’ites procession killing Muhsin Abdallah and injuring scores of others.”

  Members of the IMN were demanding the release of their detained leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife when the incident occurred.

  However, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command said it dispersed the procession by members of the proscribed IMN after a violent protest in the Maitama area of Abuja.

  The police in a statement signed by the command spokesperson, Mariam Yusuf, said some members of IMN went on a rampage, destroying public property and attacking innocent citizens including police officers with stones and other dangerous objects.

  “Unfortunately, the members of the disbanded sect went on a rampage destroying public property and attacking innocent citizens including Police Officers with stones and other dangerous objects.

  “In view of the above, the Command wishes to state that it will not condone any form of attack on its personnel, equipment or other public property,” the statement read in part.

  The police presented pictures of injured police officers and a damaged patrol van.

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