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Kaduna State to appeal El-Zakzaky medical leave order

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The Kaduna State Wednesday said it will file an appeal against the medical leave permission granted by the State's High Court to the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat.

"In compliance with the court order granting the request for medical leave under the strict supervision of the Kaduna State Government, KDSG has today filed before the court the terms for this strict supervision," the State's governor Nasir El- Rufai said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Thus, while it respectfully disagrees with the ruling of the court on the medical leave and will be appealing it, the Kaduna State Government will not seek a stay of execution, " he added.

The IMN leader and his wife Zeenat on Monday were granted permission to travel out of the country for medical attention in New Delhi, India.

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.

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

The Court, however, ruled that 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-Rufai affirmed that the state's respects the right of anyone to seek medical treatment outside the country and it will not seek a stay of execution but appeal the court's order.

"The Kaduna State Government respects the right of anyone to seek treatment anywhere in the world, even for malaria or common cold, so long as they are paying for it."

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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