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Court orders Kaduna government to treat El-Zakzaky’s wife for COVID-19

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A high Court sitting in Kaduna State has ordered the state government to dispose Zeenat, the wife of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, to treatment for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Zeenat and her husband, who lead the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), have been in detention since December 2015 when the Shiites clashed with Nigerian soldiers in Zaria.

Last Thursday, Mohammed, son of the IMN leader, said his mother, Zeenat, tested positive for COVID-19 at the Kaduna Correctional Centre, and demanded her release for treatment. But the authorities refused.

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Counsel to El-Zakzaky, Femi Falana, however, presented a medical report to back up his case for the release of Zeenat. The senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) asked the court to allow Zeenat seek medical treatment outside the correctional centre, according to measures put in place by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

“The medical facility at the Kaduna Correctional Centre did not have the needed facilities to treat the virus. Today at the resumed trial, 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 to the fact that the wife of our client, Zeenat, had tested positive to the dangerous COVID-19 and she is being treated in the medical centre of the correctional facility.

“We applied to the court that the authorities should take her to a government hospital that has the facility to treat the virus,” Falana submitted.

The prosecution counsel, Chris Umar, did not object to the application. In yesterday’s ruling, the presiding judge, Gideon Kurada, asked that Zeenat be moved to a government isolation facility to begin treatment immediately. The court granted the request and adjourned till today.

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