Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), on Tuesday, pleaded not guilty to the eight counts bordering on alleged culpable homicide filed against him in a Kaduna State High Court.
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Justice Gideon Kurada took the plea of the IMN leader at the resumed hearing of the motion in a no-case-submission filed by El-Zakzaky on August 7, 2020.
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Kurada had, however, fixed September 29, for ruling in the motion, after counsel to the defendant, Abubakar Marshall, holding the brief for Femi Falana, a senior advocate, asked the court to quash the charges preferred against El-Zakzaky by the government, for not “disclosing an offence known to law contrary to sections 36 (8) and (12) of the 1999 constitution as amended”.
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At the resumed sitting, the judge again reserved ruling in the motion until hearing in the substantive suit.
Also, Kurada, after taking the plea of the defendant, adjourned until November 18 and 19, 2020, to enable the prosecution present its witnesses.
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The IMN leader filed the motion seeking the court to quash the Kaduna State government’s case against him for lack of evidence.
El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zinat, are standing trial on allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of public peace, among other charges.
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Dari Bayero, who led the prosecution, told journalists shortly after the hearing, that the state government has assembled more than 20 witnesses to give evidence before the court.
Bayero said personnel of the Nigerian army, and that of the Nigeria Police, are among witnesses assembled to give evidence in the case against the defendant.
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Marshall also told reporters shortly after the adjournment, that his motion on no-case submission has been reserved until the end of hearing in the main suit.
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He said that his client has taken a “not guilty plea and ”we are waiting for the prosecution to present its witnesses.”