Key decision expected in Zakzaky case

PRESS RELEASE –

A ruling is expected on 28 July in the latest bid to throw out the case against the unlawfully imprisoned leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky and his wife, Mallima Zeenah.

Lawyers who appeared in court for the pair today hope it will bring to an end nearly a year of official prevarication and delays.

The application to dismiss charges against the Zakzakys was originally made in August 2020 on the basis that they were frivolous and an abuse of court process. The couple are being tried for their alleged involvement in violence that resulted in the death of a member of the security forces during a massacre by armed forces of supporters of the Islamic Movement in Zaria in December 2015.

Not a single prosecution witness has been able to place the Zakzakys at any of the scenes of the crimes they are accused of and the suspects who were charged with the murder have all been acquitted.

Sheikh Zakzaky has called the charges “rubbish and nonsense”.

The couple remain in custody in Kaduna state prison in parlous health despite an earlier court ruling ordering their release. In 2016 the federal high court ruled that the pair’s detention was unlawful and unconstitutional and ordered the Nigerian government to release them by January 16, 2017 and pay compensation. Instead, perversely, state authorities in Kaduna decided to charge the pair in 2018.

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IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
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