Judge urges counsel to prepare for speedy trial of El-Zakzaky
Police can still invite Mailafia, court rules
Justice Gideon Kurada of Kaduna State High Court has ordered the prosecution and defence counsel in the case filed by the state government against Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife to get ready for speedy trial.
The judge took the decision after he reserved ruling on the preliminary objection raised by the defence counsel that no plea had been taken from the accused since the case began almost two years ago.
As the case came up yesterday, the eight charges were read out to Zakzaky, who led the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) to a protest in 2018.
El-Zakzaky and his wife are standing trial on eight counts, including culpable homicide, causing grievous hurt, unlawful assembly and disturbance of the public peace.
Abubakar Marshall, the lawyer who held brief for the lead counsel to the defendants, Femi Falana, told journalists, after the court session yesterday, that the judge adjourned the matter till November 18 for hearing of witnesses and that the defendants need not appear in court.
MEANWHILE, the prayers of Dr. Obadiah Mailafia for the court to stop the police Force from inviting him for an interview on the same matter the Department of State Services (DSS) had earlier invited him for has been turned down.
The Plateau State High Court 5 presided over by Mr. Justice Arum Ashoms yesterday ruled that “although DSS has the right to invite Mailafia over matters touching on internal security, the police also has the right to invite him for questioning over the same matter.”
Ashoms held that the double invitation by the DSS and the police on the same issue did not amount to double jeopardy as moved by the applicant’s counsel.
But Mailafia’s counsel and Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Plateau State, Mr. Yakubu Bawa, said the ruling was apt, but that he had to brief his client to know whether to appeal or not.
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