Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, Sheikh Ibrahim El-zakzaky has arrived Abuja.He was moved from Kaduna with his wife Zeenat, where they had been in protective custody.
This is ahead of their trip to India for medical attention. According to TV station, their passports and other travel documents are now ready.
It was gathered that apart from security personnel who are to accompany the Sheikh, family members would also be on the trip.
The latest development is believed to have followed federal government’s intervention to douse tension over the Shi’a leader’s health.
It would be recalled that Kaduna State Government had released conditions that must be met before El-Zakzaky would be allowed to leave Nigeria.
Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, in a statement, said though the state government will appeal the ruling of the Kaduna High Court ruling allowing El-Zakzaky to travel, it will not seek a stay of execution because it believes that people should have access to treatment.
In reaction, legal luminary, Femi Falana criticised Kaduna government’s stringent conditions.
The lawyer to the IMN leader, in a statement, said: “I thought that the Kaduna State government had planned to appeal against the order of the Honourable Darius Khobo granting leave to the El-Zakzakys to travel to India for urgent medical treatment under the supervision of the government.
“I hope that the plan to pursue an appeal in the case has been shelved as the Court of Appeal has ruled that you cannot stay the execution of orders of this nature. That remains the position of the law as espoused in the case of Mowarin v Nigerian Army, which was decided under a military dictatorship in the country.
“The so-called agreement is totally alien to the penal code and the administration of criminal justice law of Kaduna State. Hence, the agreement is not brought under any substantive or adjectival law.
“My colleagues in the Ministry of Justice are not unaware of the position of the law that an agreement cannot vary or modify the order of a competent court. It is unfortunate that some highly placed public officers are so hell bent on abrogating the fundamental rights which have been fought for and won by Nigerians, even under the British colonial regime.
“For instance, the Prison Ordinance was amended in 1917 to allow the family members or friends of prison inmates to remove them from prison and take them out for medical treatment, if the prison facilities could not cater for any terminal illness. That provision has been incorporated in Regulation 12 made pursuant to the Prisons Act.
“In this instant case, the court did not release the El-Zakzakys to their family members but that they should be treated in a foreign hospital under the supervision of the government.
“Since the Department of Service Services (DSS), which has the custody of the El-Zakzakys, has announced on behalf of the Federal Government that the court order would be obeyed, the so-called terms of “agreements” of the Kaduna State government should be ignored because it is the height of provocative contempt.”
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