Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has said the fresh charges by the Kaduna State Government against Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife are aimed at frustrating their release from custody.
A Kaduna High Court had dismissed the 8-count charges of conspiracy and abetment of culpable homicide against Zakzaky and his wife, Mallama Zeenat Zakzaky.
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According to Falana, the new charges were hurriedly filed in the Federal High Court Kaduna on Tuesday July 26, in a desperate bid by the Kaduna State Government to frustrate the release of the defendants from further incarceration.
He said the new charge was maliciously filed when the Kaduna State Government anticipated that the ruling fixed for July 28 in respect of no case submission would succeed, but their efforts of the bailiff to serve the charges on the Kaduna Correctional Centre failed as they were directed to serve defence counsel.
“In apparent disregard of the epochal judgment of the honourable Justice Gideon Kurada the Kaduna State Government seeks to subject the defendants to trial under the Terrorism Prevention Act enacted in 2011 for offences that were committed as far back as 2008. But since the Kaduna State Government is not sure that the defendants would be convicted for terrorism the Director of Public Prosecution, Mr. Bayero has announced that an appeal would be filed at the Court of Appeal against the ruling of the honourable Justice Gideon Kurada.
“No doubt, the new charge constitutes the worst abuse of the process of the Federal High Court. Once the case charge is served on the defence we shall not hesitate to file the necessary application for the immediate termination of the prosecutorial charade.
“In view of the foregoing, we wish to state, without any fear of contradiction, that the filing of the new charge of terrorism and treasonable felony by the Kaduna State Government has no effect whatsoever on the valid and subsisting order of the honourable Justice Gideon Kudura for the unconditional release of the defendants from prison custody.”