A Kaduna State High Court on Wednesday denied bail to the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat.
In his ruling during the hearing on Zakzaky’s bail application, the presiding Judge, Justice Gideon Kurada rejected the application, noting that the Shi’ite leader has failed to show any substantial medical evidence to back his application for bail on health grounds.
The spiritual leader of the Shia Muslim sect also called Shi’ites is facing trial for unlawful gathering, criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide.
He was arrested in Zaria, Kaduna State in 2015 after soldiers killed over 300 members of the sect for allegedly blocking and throwing stones at the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai.
The Judge this Wednesday adjourned the case to January 22, 2019 for commencement of trial.
Recall that Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court had in December 2016, ordered El-Zakzaky’s release from custody but the order was ignored by the Federal Government.
The refusal to release El- Zakzaky has in recent times fuelled agitations by members of the sect who took to the streets severally to protest their leader’s continued detention, leading to clashes with authorities, notably the Army.
Just last month, 400 members of the sect were arrested by the Nigeria Police over alleged disturbance of public peace in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
They were alleged to have burnt a Police vehicle and were allegedly in possession of 31 bottles of petrol bombs and other dangerous weapons.