Business and commercial activities were, yesterday, paralysed in Kaduna following the resumed trial of Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN.
Shops, offices, banks and schools in the city centre were closed as residents stayed away for fear of outbreak of violence.
On Tuesday, messages were circulated on the possibility of the cleric follower’s causing trouble during his arraignment at the state high court.
Armed security personnel took over major streets around the city, as they were stationed around Lagos Roundabout, Ahmadu Bello Way, Independence Way, Yakubu Gowon Way, Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Bida Road among other roads leading to the court.
Vehicular movements were restricted on these roads while commuters, especially civil servants, who trekked, were subjected to thorough screening.
At the court, security operatives also restricted movement, with only a few journalists given access.
Zakzaky has been in detention since December 2015 when members of IMN, also known as Shi’ites, clashed with soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Reason for adjournment
Meanwhile, yesterday, a Kaduna High Court adjourned the couple’s trial till August 2. The trial judge, Justice Gideon Kurada, adjourned the matter to enable the prosecution serve the two other persons standing trial with the Shiites leader.
Speaking after the court session, the prosecution counsel, Mr. Chris Umar, said the adjournment was to enable them serve the third and fourth respondents in the charges.
Also speaking, counsel to El-Zakzaky, Mr. Maxwell Kyom, said the other respondents in the charges before the court were yet to be served.
Kyom, who declined to mention the names of the respondents, stated: “The third and fourth respondents are not necessarily in the matter until they have been served.”
He further said they had filed their bail application to the court and the prosecution had also filed their response though it was late.
“In respect to that, we also applied for a short date to reply the prosecution’s counter affidavit,” he added.