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Leader of Shiites and wife leave Nigeria for medical care in India

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Sheikh Ibrahim El-zakzaky, the detained spiritual leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) sect of Shiites, has left Abuja for India for medical treatment.

He left Abuja with his wife, Zeenat, and ten security personnel aboard an Emirate Airline number EK2614 on Monday, 12 August 2019.

The movement followed the order of a Kaduna State High court which granted them leave to undergo treatment at an Indian hospital of their choice.

This followed an application by El-Zakzaky’s counsel and human rights activist, Femi Falana, to allow them to travel for treatment as a result of their deteriorating health condition.

Justice Darius Khobo, thereafter, granted the leave on 5 August 2019, adding that the IMN leader and his wife would be accompanied abroad by officials of the Kaduna State Government.

Their trial is expected to resume as soon as they return from the trip.

The delegation is made up of four IMN (Shiites) leaders and six security operatives.

An IMN member gave the names of its leader’s family members on the trip as Zainab and Hassan Bala.

The name of the accompanying doctor was given simply as Rahamat. However, the security operatives were not identified.

The government opted for delegates from both sides to “ensure a transparent medical procedure”.

In a statement issued late on Monday, 12 August 2019, IMN’s Free Zakzaky Campaign Committee leader, Abdurrahman Yola, confirmed: “The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife have, at last, just left Nigeria for India alongside some family members and security operatives.’’

He said that the journey was made despite the attempted efforts at frustrating this emergency medical journey by the Kaduna state government.

“This emergency medical journey is consequent on the facts that both the Sheikh and his wife are known to be clearly very ill in detention, sequel to the brutal wounds unjustifiably inflicted on them by the state agents in the name of Nigerian army.

El-Zakzaky and his wife have been in detention since December 2015 after their sect members engaged troops in a violent exchange leading to the death of more than 320 people in Zaria, the base of IMN in Kaduna state.

El-Zakzaky had since been facing trial for culpable homicide and murder.


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