The case of Sheikh Ibrahim El Zakzaky came up today 24th February, 2020. The case was earlier scheduled for arraignment and commencement of hearing.
However, when the case was called and the DPP informed the court on the business of the court, counsel for the Defendants raised the health issue of the Defendants. He informed the court that despite the court order issued on the last adjourned date for the Defendants to have access to their personal physicians, the order was yet to be complied with. He further informed the court that the authorities of the Correctional Service (formerly prison) have frustrated the efforts of the physicians to have unfettered access to the Defendants.
In reply, the DPP denied that allegation and insisted that the physicians of the Defendants had actually treated them in the presence of state doctor and that of the Prison.
Upon hearing the arguments, Justice Gideon Kurada instantly issued summons for the Controller of the Correctional Service along with his Deputy to come and explain to him the role they played in the saga. He then retired to his chamber.
Upon the arrival of the Controller and his Deputy, the judge resumed the hearing in chambers with all the parties concerned including the counsel from both sides and the Defendants. The Controller stressed that he doesn’t have any grudge with the Defendants, but there was a minor misunderstanding regarding taking of samples for examination, but has now been resolved.
In turn, the Defendant Sheikh Zakzaky informed the court the hurdles they encountered before their physicians were reluctantly allowed to take their samples. Sheikh put the demand for unfettered access to their personal physicians, and also the chance to move out of the prison when the need for scanning arises. None of the parties present raised any objection to that.
After all these deliberations, the judge made 3 orders;
1. That the Defendants’ physicians shall be given free access to the Defendants and treat them accordingly in the. presence of the State and Prison doctors.
2. That the Defendants’ physicians shall be given free access to the Defendants where the need to take blood samples arise. That in such situation, the physician of the Defendants shall take the sample himself, and same shall be examined in Barau Dikko Teaching Hospital, Kaduna. All these shall be done in the presence of the State and Prison doctors.
3. Where there is need to have a scan on the Defendants (which can not be done inside the prison), the prisons officials shall take the Defendants to any facility within Kaduna and have the scan conducted. These also shall be done in the presence of the State and Prison doctors.
The case was then adjourned to the 23 and 24 April, 2020 for arraignment and commencement of hearing.
Legal Team of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife.
24 February, 2020