Sheikh Zakzaky denied bail, to remain in secret police custody

Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife have been denied bail by a Kaduna High Court.

The court sitting on Wednesday denied the bail application filed by counsel to the Islamic scholar.

The presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada, said in his ruling that the accused persons have not shown any substantial medical evidence to grant them bail in their written application.

The judge, however, ordered that the two accused persons should remain in the custody of the State Security Services (DSS), throughout the period of their trial.

The matter has been adjourned to January 22, 2019, for accelerated hearing.

The IMN leader is facing trial for alleged murder, culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of public peace, among other charges.

Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife were first arraigned on May 15, 2018, following their arrest in Zaria, in December 2015.

The IMN leader was arrested in December 2015 after over 1000 of his followers were killed by the Nigerian armed forces. He was severally shot alongside his, wife, Zeenatuddeen. Kaduna State government told a judicial panel of inquiry it set up after the Zaria massacre that it buried 378 Shiites in a mass grave in Mando, Kaduna.

His followers have been protesting in Abuja calling for his release as ordered by a federal high court in Abuja two years ago. About 50 of them were shot dead by the Nigerian security last week during the free-Zakzaky protests, which sparked outrage from rights organisations.

When the matter came up for hearing on October 4, 2018, the presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada adjourned his ruling on their bail application to November 7, 2018 due to the absence of the IMN leader and his wife in court as a result of the visit of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to the state on that date.