Trial of Nigerian Shia leader Zakzaky adjourned again until March 31
The trial of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), has been adjourned until the end of March by the Kaduna State High Court.
Justice Gideon Kurada, who presided at the trial, which lasted for over six hours.
Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat have been in detention since December 2015. Their court trial has been adjourned many times since.
The Kaduna State Government has falsely charged Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife with eight counts, including culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of the public peace.
In December 2015, the Nigerian Army raided his residence in Zaria, seriously injured him, and killed hundreds of his followers; since then, he has remained in detention in the nation's capital.
Observers say Nigeria’s government sees Sheikh Zakzay as a threat and seeks to gradually kill him in prison by preventing him from receiving medical care and treatment for his past injuries.
IMN, a group of Nigeria's minority Shia Muslims, said protests will continue until they secure the release of Zakzaky.
Femi Falana, Zakzaky's defence lawyer, spoke to the media:
"Again today, it was admitted that whereas about 223 Shiite who were charged, who were arraigned in three different courts for allegedly killing a soldier have been discharged and acquitted. But the 347 Shiites who were killed, nobody has been arraigned in any court.
Sheikh Zakzaky's doctrine must be spread throughout the world
The ideas of Sheikh Zakzaky should be spread not only in Nigeria, but throughout the world, Hojjatoleslam Hassan Mahdavian, an Iranian Islamic scholar in the holy city of Mashad said recently.
Mahdavian told family members of those killed in the 2015 Zaria massacre that Sheikh Zakzaky has shown that he is willing to sacrifice himself and his family for the sake of God and Islam, following in the footsteps of Imam Hussein, who gave everything for Allah.