Business and commercial activities were paralysed in Kaduna on Wednesday following the resumed trial of Ibraheem 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. Security operatives 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. Only a few journalists were given access.
The absence of judge handling the case led to the adjournment of the bail application till August.
Zakzaky has been in detention since December 2015 when members of IMN also known as Shi’ites, clashed with soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna state.
IMN has held a series of protests over the continued detention of their leader despite an order of the federal high court, Abuja, granting him bail.
The court also awarded him and his wife N27 million each – sums to be paid by the federal government.
On May 15, the IMN leader and Zeenat, his wife, were arraigned on an eight-count bordering on culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disturbance of public peace.
The Kaduna state government filed the charges.