Kaduna to appeal court ruling granting El-Zazaky, wife leave to seek medical attention

WorldStage Newsonline– The Kaduna State Government will appeal against the ruling of a High Court granting the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Malam Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenah, leave to travel to India for medical attention.

In a statement in Kaduna on Wednesday,  Mr Samuel Aruwan, the Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs,  said while the state  respected the  ruling, it disagreed with the premises on which it was based.

“Therefore, an appeal will be lodged on the matter, but a stay of execution will not be sought,” Aruwan said.

On Monday, a Kaduna State High Court granted an application for medical leave filed by  El-Zakzaky and his wife,  Zeenah.

The couple is facing criminal trial at the court on eight counts, including culpable homicide punishable with death, filed in April 2018.

In the case with charge no. KDH/KAD/60c/2018), the two  pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were arraigned on Aug. 2, 2018.

El-Zakzaky’s application for bail was refused on Oct. 4 ,2018, and he has since remained in the lawful custody of the state.

According to the government, certain conditions will have to be met for the Islamic cleric and his wife to travel to India for medical treatment.

“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 the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall confirm the appointments of the defendants/applicants with the Medanta Hospital, India, and undertake all necessary diplomatic arrangements and protocols 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.”

It added that “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 jeopardise the on-going 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.

“As is readily evident from the above, many of these terms of supervision depend for their actualisation on actions by the Federal Government of Nigeria which is the sovereign power vested with the constitutional responsibility for foreign affairs.”

News Agency of Nigeria recalls that on April 19, 2018, Kaduna State Government charged  El-Zakzaky, Zeenah, Yakubu Yahaya Katsina and Sanusi Abdulkadir Koki with criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide and unlawful assembly.

Other charges against the defendants are wrongful restraint, disturbance of public peace,  voluntarily causing grievous hurt, inciting disturbance and breach of public peace in contravention of the Penal Code Law of Kaduna State.

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