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El Zakzaky set for India medical trip

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Leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, are set to depart the country for his medical treatment in India.

The leader of the Shiites arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and will leave for New Delhi, India with a chartered flight.

El Zakzaky was granted permission to go for treatment at an Indian Hospital by the Kaduna State High Court.

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.

The ruling by Justice Darius Khobo, however, was not without conditions attached. El-Zakzaky and Zeenat must not go to any other hospital other than the one they specifically requested. Also, the travel of the Shiites’ leader and his wife must be under the strict supervision of the state officials.

El-Zakzaky and his wife were arrested after a 2015 clash in which the Nigerian troops killed about 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.

His followers took to the streets to protest and demand the release of their leader. The protests turned violent with clashes between the police and the protesters leading to the death of over 20 Shiites, a policeman and a reporter.

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

El Zakzaky and his wife are to return to Nigeria to continue their trial after they are discharged.


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