The Kaduna State Government has filed at the Kaduna High Court “terms for strict supervision of the medical leave” granted an Islamic cleric, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenah
Mr El-Zakzaky and his wife were granted leave to travel to India by a Kaduna high court after their lawyers proved his health had deteriorated and he posed no flight risk.
The Kaduna government, which had opposed Mr El-Zakzaky’s request in court, now wants the court to impose strict conditions before he is allowed to travel.
The government listed seven conditions it wants to be met before the Shiite cleric and leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, is allowed to travel.
Some of the conditions are beyond the Shiite cleric and involve actions to be taken by the federal government which had detained the cleric for over a year without trial and could, therefore, refuse to take such actions, thus frustrating the release.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria shall obtain from the Government of India an irrevocable guarantee that it will not entertain any application by the defendants/applicants or any third party seeking asylum under any guise or conferring the status of political prisoners or any other status aside from being medical patients on the defendants/applicants and shall also restrain the defendants/applicants from any act inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria,” Samuel Aruwan, the Kaduna Commissioner, Internal Security and Home Affair, said in a statement.
The Kaduna government is prosecuting Mr El-Zakzaky, his wife, and two others for their roles in the December 2015 IMN protest that led to an army crackdown.
At least 347 IMN members were killed by soldiers and buried in secret mass graves by the Kaduna government, an action that has been condemned by local and international rights groups.
The Kaduna government is not prosecuting any soldier for the massacre but is prosecuting Mr El-Zakzaky and his wife for the alleged death of a soldier during the violence.
After the December 2015 massacre, Mr El-Zakzaky and his wife were first detained by the federal government for over a year without trial and despite a court order. Their prosecution started in 2018 by the Kaduna government.
After last week’s court ruling, the State Security Service, which is holding Mr El-Zakzaky, said it would abide by the court order. It was yet to do so until Wednesday’s statement by the Kaduna government.
Read the full statement below.
Malam Ibrahim El-Zakzaky is facing criminal trial before the Kaduna High Court on charges filed in April 2018. The Kaduna State Government is prosecuting Malam Ibrahim El-Zakzaky on an eight-count charge, including culpable homicide punishable with death. He and his wife are the first and second defendants in The State versus Malam Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and Another (charge no. KDH/KAD/60c/2018), and his plea was taken on 2nd August 2018. His application for bail was refused on 4th October 2018, and he has since remained in the lawful custody of the state, and not in unlawful detention as being wrongly disseminated.
On Monday, 5th August 2019, the Kaduna High Court granted an application for medical leave filed by Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife, Mrs. Zeenah Ibrahim. The court specifically said it was granting the two defendants “leave to travel out of Nigeria for urgent medical treatment at Medanta Hospital, India, under strict supervision of the Respondent and to return to Nigeria (for continuation of trial) as soon as they are discharged from the hospital”.