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Sheikh Zakzaky Court Adjourns Ruling on Application for Medical Trip Abroad

Counsel for Sheikh Zakzaky, Femi Falana (SAN), told the court that the health condition of his client was getting worse by the day, hence the need for him to seek urgent medical treatment abroad.

The Kaduna State High Court has adjourned its ruling on the application filed by the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, seeking permission to travel abroad for medical treatment.

Members of Sheikh Zakzaky’s movement and rights group have raised alarm concerning his deteriorating health in recent months.

Justice Darius Khobo, the presiding judge, adjourned sitting on the matter to July 29, 2019, to rule on the application.

Counsel for Sheikh Zakzaky, Femi Falana (SAN), told the court that the health condition of his client was getting worse by the day, hence the need for him to seek urgent medical treatment abroad.

In a written application filed before the Court, Falana, said his client is in dire need of medical attention, having lost one of his eyes while in custody of the Department State Services.

The lawyer argued that Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat had not been given adequate medical care since their detention on December 14, 2015.

The Kaduna State Director of Public Prosecution, Dari Bayero, objected Sheikh Zakzaky’s application because Nigerian medical doctors had yet to be invited to ascertain if the IMN leader should be treated locally or abroad.

Justice Gideon Kurada, who is handling the case, had on March 25 adjourned the trial of the IMN leader indefinitely.

Today Fifty Western intellectuals have called on UN chief Antonio Guterres to pressure Nigeria to release top Shia Muslim leader Sheikh Ibrahim al-Zakzaky, who needs emergency medical treatment.

In a recent letter to Guterres, the signatories called on the UN chief to push for an immediate release and treatment of Sheikh Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).

“We write to demand that Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Mallima Zeenah be allowed to leave the country for urgent medical treatment,” read the letter, saying the cleric’s health has deteriorated in the last few days.

The signatories included university professors, political analysts and human rights activists.

They urged the world body to take concrete action against ongoing violations being committed against scholars and rights campaigners by Nigerian authorities and the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The continued detention of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife “as well as hundreds of others has been a huge stain on the reputation of Nigerian government,” the letter said.

“By not allowing them to get the medical treatment they need, the Nigerian president is adding further evidence of his government’s inhumanity and cruelty,” it added.

Earlier this month, Zakzaky’s son, Mohammad, said he was shocked by his father’s worsening medical condition after visiting him.

Mohammad said large and dangerous quantities of lead and cadmium had been found in Zakzaky’s blood and the cleric needed to be immediately hospitalized.

Nigerian authorities, he said, had not taken any action and that they intended to murder his father.

The IMN says the cleric has been poisoned in prison and requires urgent medical care abroad. It says the group would hold President Buhari responsible “if anything should happen to Zakzaky or his wife in detention”.

The UK-based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) also recently announced that it had received reports about Zakzaky’s health condition having further worsened.

The IHRC, which sent a medical team to Nigeria in April to examine the health of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, has said the specialist treatment they require can only be fully accessed outside the African country.

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