Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Chairman, Free El- Zakzaky Campaign Organisation, Sheikh Abdurrahaman Abubakar, has said that Kaduna State government’s stringent conditions for EL-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat to travel to India for medical attention are amounted to causing tension in the country.
Kaduna State government is prosecuting El Zakzaky and his wife on an eight-count charge, including culpable homicide punishable with death.
He was granted leave by the state High Court on Monday to travel to India for treatment.
Nevertheless, the state government insisted amongst other conditions 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.
However, speaking with newsmen in an interview in Kaduna on Thursday, Abubakar said the court order must be obeyed because it is independent of an individual.
He said: “The issue is that the judge has already given an order. And the DSS has already received the order and they will comply with the court order. We see no any reason why Kaduna State government will now come up with other conditions. The judiciary is fully independent. They are not the judge.
“If you could recall about three or five months back, a state High Court in Kaduna, acquitted almost about a hundred students of Sheikh Ibrahim El- Zakzaky, but that same charge El-zakzaky and his wife are facing for killing one corporal in Kaduna with a locally-made pistol. They are many students of the sheikh awaiting trial almost numbering about 150 in Kaduna state prison. The same charge. The prosecution has closed his submission.
“So you can see that the state government wants to create confusion by raising unnecessary tension. Their action is an after thought. Nothing more, nothing less. If El-rufai ran away from this country during Yar’adua’s administration, nobody would say that El-zakzaky will run away from this country. He is a bonafide Nigerian citizen. He lives here in Nigeria. He never goes to any country to look for asylum. Why should he look for asylum, for what reason?”
Asked where Sheikh is now, the free EL-Zakzaky campaign chairman said: “El-zakzaky is under the custody of the DSS and the DSS is the ones keeping him – the same DSS in 2016 a Federal High Court in Abuja said keeping him in detention is illegal. And that he should be set free and accommodation should be provided for him and N5m should be paid to him as compensation. So the Federal government, the DSS and the office of the Attorney General are yet to comply with the court order.”
On whether the DSS is complying with the court order, Abubakar said: “The DSS is in contact with the only surviving son of the sheikh. All arrangement are on the ground to ensure that he is flown out of the country to India where he will be going for medical vacation.”
On his current health condition, he said: “About a month ago when journalists saw him, his condition was very critical. He is in critical situation now and he has had the chance to go on medical vacation and we pray and hope as he receives medical attention, his situation will improve by God’s willing.”