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Court grants Shiites leader El-Zakzaky leave for medical attention abroad

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A Kaduna High Court Monday granted the Islamic Movement of Nigeria's leader Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat permission to travel out of the country for medical attention.

El-Zakzaky's lawyer Femi Falana had filed a suit seeking his client's release from detention since 2015 to treat his dimming sight and deteriorating health.

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Falana said eight medical reports attached to the bail suit showed that the Shiites leader needs urgent medical attention in Egypt.

“Doctors have confirmed that he has lost an eye and the second one may be lost on account of advanced glaucoma. Secondly, pellets in his body have not been removed,” said Falana.

He said the pellets - shrapnel from the 2015 clash - was causing lead poisoning, having been in his body for four years.

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Prosecution lawyer Dari Bayero said Nigeria’s medical facilities can treat any of the religious leader’s ailments in the last sitting on Friday.

El-Zakzaky and his wife were arrested after a 2015 clash in which the Nigerian troops killed an estimated 350 of his followers at his compound and a nearby mosque and burial ground in Kaduna State and has remained in detention despite a court order in Dec. 2016 to release him.

Nigerian government on July 26, 2019, obtained a court order to label the group as a "terrorist" organization. Human rights activists kicked against the order but the Nigerian police last Wednesday announced that it will henceforth treat the IMN protests and all forms of procession as illegal.

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