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#Shiites : Court Grants El-Zakzaky And Wife Bail

Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has been in detention for the past four years [Press TV]

The two were arrested in Kaduna in 2015 after soldiers killed over 300 members of the IMN for allegedly throwing stones at the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, an act declared by the Army to be an assassination attempt.

Corporal Yakubu Dankaduna, a soldier, was allegedly killed by IMN members when he alighted from Buratai’s convoy to disperse the group’s procession during the confrontation.

The government ignored a December 2016 ruling of a Federal High Court to release them.

In May 2018, El-Zakzaky and Zinat were eventually arraigned before the Kaduna High Court and charged with unlawful gathering, criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide, and denied bail by the court months later in November.

In a fresh application filed on July 18, the defendants asked to be allowed to travel to India for medical attention due to their failing health conditions.

The defendants’ counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), said not less than eight medical reports from local and foreign doctors agree that they require urgent medical attention “which is not locally available”.

During the court’s ruling on the Monday, August 5, Justice Darius Khobo granted El-Zakzaky and Zinat medical leave to travel to India.

He ruled that the defendants will be accompanied by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS), as well as other officials of the Kaduna State government.

The defendants will also remain at the approved Medanta Hospital in New Delhi, India until they make a complete recovery after which they’ll return to Nigeria for the continuation of the trial.

After the ruling, prosecution counsel, Dari Bayero, hinted that the state could file an appeal after studying the judgement.

No date has been fixed for when the defendants will travel.

El-Zakzaky’s continued detention has led to allegations of persecution by members of his sect who have taken to the streets several times in protest, leading to clashes with security agencies that have left dozens dead and hundreds incarcerated over the past year.

Last month, the Federal Government secured a court order to proscribe the group’s activities and brand it a terrorist organisation, a move that has been widely criticised.


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