Kaduna state government has asked that stiff conditions be attached to the medical leave granted Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and wife Zeenat by a Kaduna state High Court to ensure their return after treatment to continue with their trial.
Justice Darius Khobo of the state High Court had on Monday granted the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) leader and his wife leave to seek medical treatment at the Medanta Hospital, India, just as the Department of State Services (DDS) stated its readiness to comply with the court directives.
However, Kaduna state government which in the first place dragged Zakzaky and his wife before the court for culpable homicide, said it has approached the court seeking for seven measures that would ensure that the defendants don’t become asylum seeker in India.
The Governor Nasir El-Rufai led government prays that the court makes, Zakzaky, his wife and each of the other defendants produce two prominent sureties including a first class chief or emir.
The government, while expressing its displeasure with the terms of the medical leave noted that, “while the Kaduna state government respects the court’s ruling on medical leave, it disagrees with the premises on which it is based. Therefore, an appeal will be lodged on the matter, but a stay of execution will not be sought as the state government believes that a person may choose to travel abroad for any medical condition at his own cost.”
A statement signed by the Kaduna state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, on Wednesday stated further that, “in compliance with the court ruling, the Kaduna state government has filed at the Kaduna High Court terms for strict supervision of the medical leave, as follows:
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria shall confirm the appointments of the defendants/applicants with the Medanta Hospital, India, and undertake all necessary diplomatic arrangements and protocol to ensure compliance with the conditions of the medical leave.
“Each of the defendants/applicants shall undertake to return to Nigeria to continue their trial as soon as they are discharged from the hospital, and shall also be responsible for the cost of their travel, treatment and living expenses while on their medical leave.
“Each of the defendants/applicants shall produce two prominent and reliable persons as sureties, one being a first class chief/emir of national repute and the other a prominent person within Kaduna state who shall undertake to produce the defendants whenever they are needed. The sureties must also produce evidence of landed property within Kaduna state.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria shall obtain from the Government of India an irrevocable guarantee that it will not entertain any application by the defendants/applicants or any third party seeking asylum under any guise or conferring the status of political prisoners or any other status aside from being medical patients on the defendants /applicants and shall also restrain the defendants/applicants from any act inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria.
‘Each of the defendants/applicants shall undertake in writing, endorsed by their Counsel, that while on medical treatment in India, they shall do nothing to jeopardize the ongoing trial, the peace and security of Nigeria and the laws of the Republic of India in whatever form.
“Security agents of the Federal Government of Nigeria shall escort the defendants/applicants and remain with them throughout the duration of their treatment in India and thereafter shall return with them after their discharge from the hospital. The Nigerian High Commission in India shall undertake prior vetting and grant consent before any visitor has access to the defendants/applicants while in the Republic of India.
“Many of these terms of supervision depend for their actualization on actions by the Federal Government of Nigeria which is the sovereign power vested with the constitutional responsibility for foreign affairs.” It said.
On 19th April 2018, the Kaduna state government filed an eight-count charge against Malam Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, Mallama Zeenah Ibrahim, Yakubu Yahaya Katsina and Sanusi Abdulkadir Koki for the offenses of:
Criminal Conspiracy, Culpable Homicide punishable with death, Unlawful Assembly, Wrongful restraint, Disturbance of public peace, Voluntarily causing grievous hurt, Inciting disturbance and Breach of Public Peace.