The Kaduna State High Court, on Monday, ordered the prison authorities in the state to evacuate the wife of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Zeenat, to an isolation centre for COVID-19 treatment.
The judge, Gideon Kurada, specifically ordered that she should be moved from the Kaduna prisons to a government-approved isolation and treatment centre.
Mr El-Zakzaky and his wife are being detained at the Nigerian Correctional Centre in Kaduna for their ongoing trial before the Kaduna State High Court on culpable homicide, among other charges.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported that the authorities of the Nigerian Correctional Centre’s claim that they were not aware that Zeenat tested positive for COVID-19.
But the News Agency of Nigeria reports that the couple’s defence lawyer, Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, confirmed that Zeenat had tested positive for COVID-19.
NAN reports that Mr Falana confirmed her client’s positive COVID-19 status in an interview with journalists after Monday’s session of the couple’s trial which is being conducted behind closed doors.
The trial is, by consent of both the prosecution and the defence, being conducted in the absence of the two defendants.
Mr Falana said his team presented the results of the COVID test before the court and applied that Zeenat, the second defendant, who tested positive for the virus more than one week, be taken to a proper medical facility for treatment.
He said the medical facility at the Kaduna Correctional Centre lacked the needed facilities to treat COVID-19 patients.
He said, “Today at the resumed trial of the clients’ case, the prosecution brought four witnesses including a medical doctor who testified before the court.
”But we also applied to the court, we drew the attention of the court on behalf of our clients to the fact that the wife of our client, Zeenat, had tested positive for the dangerous COVID-19 and she is being treated in the medical centre of the correctional facility.”
Also, Mr Chris Umar, the state Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Kaduna State Ministry of Justice, said the prosecution did not object to the application.
He said the prosecution presented four witnesses, bringing the number of prosecution witnesses who had so far testified before the court to eight.
Two army officers, a retired director of State Security Service and a medical doctor are among the prosecution witnesses that have testified in the case so far.
The secret trial of the IMN leader and his wife Zeenat began on November 18, 2020 at the High Court.
The Kaduna State Government charged Mr El-Zakzaky and wife with eight counts including culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of the public peace among other charges.
The IMN leader and his wife pleaded not guilty to the alleged offences.
They were accused of committing the offences during a bloody confrontation between IMN members and soldiers in the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, in December 2015.
The trial was adjourned till January 26. (NAN)
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