Kaduna govt arraigns another 91 Shiites, seeks death sentence

Kaduna govt arraigns another 91 Shiites, seeks death sentence
May 04 07:18 2016

The Kaduna State Government on
Tuesday arraigned another batch 
of 91 members of the Islamic
Movement in Nigeria (IMN)
before a Kaduna High Court,
seeking death sentence for the
accused.
The government had on April 21
arraigned 50 members of the sect
on similar charges.
They were among the 266 sect
members arrested during the
Shiite/Army clash between Dec. 12
and Dec 14, 2015 in Zaria.
The Shi’a group, Islamic
Movement in Nigeria, says over
hundreds of its members were
killed and secretly buried by
soldiers during the clash.

The Kaduna State government
said 347 bodies were buried by
the army and the state
government in the Mando area of
Zaria.
NAN reports that 256 of other
Shiites arrested by the army are
facing charges that attract death
sentence, while 10 others are
facing other charges in different
courts in the state.
They were arraigned on a five-
count charge for criminal
conspiracy, culpable homicide,
unlawful assembly and disturbance of
public peace
Dari Bayero, who led the
prosecution, told Justice Hajara
Gwadah that the accused persons
were being charged “pursuant to
Sections 97, 102, 106, 221 and 256
of the Penal Code Law of Kaduna
State.

“My Lord the charge before you is for
mention. We humbly apply that the names of
the accused persons be called out for
identification.
“My Lord the 1st, 13th, 34th, 39th, 57th , 66th
and 70th accused persons are not in court and
are absent.
“They were released on bail and are aware of
this date particularly the accused person No.
57 who we have proof of service on.
“My Lord the 1st accused person was released
on bail to one Ibrahim Haruna who is
resident at Zaria.
“My Lord we hereby apply for a bench
warrant against the 57th accused person.
“My Lord same is also applied against all the
accused persons that are absent.

I also apply
for a short date for further arraignment.“
On his part, Festus Okoye, who led the defence
team, said the prosecution had not served any
of the accused persons with the charge since
the case was filed on March 22, 2016.
“My Lord our first application is that the
prosecution should serve the charges on all
the accused persons.
“My Lord, the application for bench warrant
against the accused persons that are not
before the court is not proper.
“My Lord the 1st accused and his surety were
not served with a copy of this charge and
hearing notice and thus, are not aware that
the matter comes up today.

“The 13th accused person was released
because he was critically ill. There is also no
evidence that he was served with the charge
or hearing notice.
“The 39th and 70th accused persons were
released on bail because they are minors and
were not served against today. I don’t have
information on the 57th accused person.“
The defence counsel requested the court to
order the prosecution to serve the accused
persons that were not in court and their
sureties.
After listening to the submissions, the Judge
issued a bench warrant against the 57th
accused person.
“Bench warrant against 57th accused person
is hereby granted. Accused persons are to be
served personally.
“Case adjourned to June 1, 2016 for
arraignment,” Mr. Gwadah declared.

(NAN)