Shi’ites protest in Kaduna as El-Zakzaky appears in court

Ahmadu Bello Way, Kaduna was yesterday taken over by Shiites Muslim youths, who protested the incarceration of their leader, Sheikh El-zakzaky and wife, causing tension in the city. Yesterday’s protest occurred around 11am with obstructions to traffic within the Central Market area where the protesters were seen with placards chanting various songs and carrying sticks and leafs. Our correspondent, who witnessed the protest, gathered that the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) appeared in Court 4, Kaduna Judicial Division with his wife.

He was reportedly smuggled into the court under tight security, looking miserable, as his trial was conducted in secret, out of the glare of journalists who were barred from entering the court chamber. Before the Tuesday protest, similar incident occurred in Narayi community in Chikun and kajuru local government areas of the state on Monday. Eyewitnesses said the protesters took to the street in the early hours of yesterday, blocking major roads, although no casualty was recorded as at the time of filing this report.

When the case was called yesterday, Kaduna state Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Bayero Dari, announced appearance for the prosecution. At that point, the presiding judge asked for Sheikh Zakzaky and wife who were then led into the court hall by DSS operatives. Barrister Opaluwa and Maxwell Kyon of Femi Falana chambers, announced appearance for the defence as Bayero asked for more time to enable the prosecution serve the other two persons standing trial with Sheikh El Zakzakky. On their part, the defense lawyers made an oral application for bail and an unfettered access to their clients.

The court asked that the bail application be brought formally for unhindered access to Sheikh. The application of the prosecution to allow the Sheikh and his wife to continue in DSS custody was granted and case was adjourned to June 21, 2018 while the Sheikh and his wife were returned to Abuja.

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