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Court orders release of El-Zakzaky’s wife from prison after testing positive for coronavirus

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A Kaduna High Court on Monday ordered the Nigerian Correctional Service to release the wife of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Zeenat El-Zakzaky, to an isolation centre, for COVID-19 treatment.

Justice Gideon Kurada in his ruling specifically ordered that she should be moved to a government-approved isolation and treatment centre.

However, the Correctional Service authorities had in a statement last weekend claimed no inmate, including the Zeenat, was infected with COVID-19.

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But Zeenat and Ibrahim El Zakzaky’s lawyer Femi Falana, SAN, said that his client tested positive to COVID-19.

Falana said his team presented the results of the test before the court and applied that Mrs El-Zakzaky is treated with a proper medical facility to get treatment.

”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 to the dangerous COVID-19 and she is being treated in the medical center of the correctional facility,” he said.

Falana said the medical facility at the Kaduna correctional centre does not have the needed facilities to treat the virus.

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Chris Umar, the state Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice said the prosecution did not object to the application.

The Kaduna State Government charged El-Zakzaky and his wife with eight counts bordering on alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of the public peace.

El-Zakzaky has been in prison since 2015 when the Nigerian army killed hundreds of his supporters near his home in Zaria.

The two have remained in detention despite several court orders calling for their release.

The government accused the IMN of not recognising the Nigerian constitution and authority.

His prolonged detention has fuelled several protests by members of the Shiite movement in many Nigerian cities.

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