Femi Falana (SAN), the lead defence counsel for the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenah, has stated that the Kaduna state government “hurriedly filed in the federal high court” fresh cases against the couple to frustrate their release.
NewsWireNGR recalls that the Kaduna state government after the release of the couple filed fresh counts bordering on terrorism and treasonable felony against the state and the federal government.
A Federal High Court in Kaduna had earlier dismissed all charges against El-Zakzaky and his wife while ordering their release.
Reacting to the new development, Falana in a statement on Sunday said contrary to reports that the fresh counts were filed after the release of El-Zakzaky and his wife, the Kaduna government “hurriedly filed in the federal high court holden at Kaduna on Tuesday, 26th July, in a desperate bid to frustrate the release of the defendants from further incarceration”.
“In other words, the new charge was maliciously filed when the Kaduna State Government anticipated that the ruling fixed for July 28 in respect our no case submission would succeed,” he said.
He said as soon as the new charge was filed, “the bailiff of the federal high court was commanded to rush to the Kaduna correctional centre to serve same on the defendants”.
“But the defendants refused to accept service of the charge and directed the Bailiff to serve it on them through their Counsel. But for reasons best known to the Kaduna State Government, the charge was not served on the defence counsel,” Falana said.
“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 Kadura.”
“Since the new charge has failed to achieve its oppressive objective of frustrating the release of the couple from further incarceration, we call on the Kaduna State Government to discontinue it without any delay,” he added.