EL ZAKZAKY AND WIFE, 2 OTHERS CHARGED TO COURT FOR MURDER

Ade Adesomoju, Abuja

The Kaduna State Government has charged the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, also known as Shi’ites, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenah, and two others with various offences including murder of a soldier.

The allegedly murdered soldier, Corporal Yakuku Dankaduna, was said to be in the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, during the December 2015 bloody clash between Shi’ites and the soldiers in the convoy in Zaria, Kaduna State.

In all, eight counts were filed against the IMN leader and the three other co-defendants in respect of the incident.

El-Zakzaky, his wife, Yakub Katsina and Sanusi Koki, were named in the charges marked KDH/KAD/60C/2018 and dated April 18, 2018.

Until when the charges were filed this month, El-Zakzaky and his wife had been detained by the Department of State Services for over two years without charge.

The Federal High Court in Abuja had in December 2016 ordered the release of the couple from custody.

The Kaduna State Government filed charges against the defendants after weeks of repeated clashes in Abuja between the police and hundreds of protesting Shi’ites who were demanding the release of the detainees.

El-Zakzaky and his wife were arrested after the December 12, 2015 bloody clash between Shi’ites and soldiers in the entourage of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State.

In one of the eight counts was the four defendants were said to have on December 12, 2015, “abetted the commission of the offence of culpable homicide punishable” by members of the IMN who allegedly shot to death one Corporal Yakuku Dankaduna, who was in the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff.

The offence was said to be contrary to Section 47 and punishable with death under Section 190 of the Penal Code Law of Kaduna State 2017.

Other counts included alleged acts of abetting the unlawful assembly of members of the IMN, the inciting of disturbance by encouraging the members of the sect to block Sokoto Road, Sabon Gari, Zaria and other major roads within the environs; and the wrongful restraint of the Chief of Army’s convoy and other members of the public by instigating the members of the sect.

They were also accused of promoting an unlawful assembly “by encouraging people to join the Islamic Movement in Nigeria which is not a registered organisation” and abetting the commission of the offence of voluntarily causing grievous hurt without provocation by encouraging the members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria to block the various roads in Zaria.

They were also accused of  abetting “the commission of the offence of snciting disturbance by encouraging the members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria to block Sokoto Road, Sabon Gari, Zaria and other major roads within the environs and wrongfully restrained the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff and the general public from gaining access thereto while armed with dangerous weapons”.

Specifically, in count one, the IMN leader and his three co-defendants  of agreeing  “along with other members of the sect to do an illegal act, to wit: while armed with dangerous weapons such as pistols, guns, dane guns, cutlasses, knives, catapult, axes, clubs and sticks blocked Sokoto Road, Sabon Gari, Zaria, and other major roads within the environs and prevented the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff and the general public from gaining access to the roads.”

They were also said to have in another count, “abetted the commission of the offence of an unlawful assembly, by members of the IMN “which offence they committed by unlawfully assembling under the guise of performing religious rites while armed with dangerous weapons…and prevented the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff and the general public from gaining access thereto knowing that the said assembly has been lawfully commanded to disperse.”

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