By Mabel Yakubu
The absence of Justice Gideon Kurada of a Kaduna High Court on Thursday staled the arraignment of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat over alleged culpable homicide.
The Kaduna State Government had brought an eight-count charge against the IMN leader and his wife.
They are being charged for alleged conspiracy, abating culpable homicide and other related offences.
Journalists were however stopped by the police from entering the court for the proceedings.
However, Zakzaky’s counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), said the judge was unavoidably absent to take the case.
He said both prosecuting and defence counsel have decided and picked July 11 as the next adjourned date.
Falana decried the action of police in stopping journalists and commuters who were interested in the case to witness the proceeding.
He said that there was no law in the country which stops people from witnessing the proceeding of a trial of any citizen.
Zakzaky and his wife were brought to court for arraignment on May 15,.
The prosecuting counsel, Dari Bayero however asked for more time to enable the prosecution serve the two other persons standing trial with the Shiites leader.
Major highways leading to Kaduna High Court along Independence Way in Kaduna metropolis were on Thursday locked down by the police over the arraignment of El-Zakzaky,
Journalists who trooped to the court premises to cover the case were also barred from entering by heavily armed security men stationed at all strategic points leading to the court.
Motorists were denied access to Independence Way right from Kabala West Roundabout up to Waff Road junction.
Those coming from Tafawa Balewa Way through the College of Business and Management Studies of Kaduna Polytechnic were also prevented from accessing Independence Way.
Similarly, motorists from Yakubu Gowon Way were also denied access to Bida Road along national and state libraries, NBTE, NAN office Kaduna State Judiciary, Police Headquarters, including First Bank, Wema Bank and Access Bank located there.
Members of the movement on Wednesday clashed with the police during a protest along Ahmadu Bello way demanding the release of their leader.
El-Zakzaki is facing charges of unlawful gathering, criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide.