The Kaduna State Government has indicated its intention to file an appeal against the Monday’s decision of the state’s High Court which granted permission to the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, to seek medical trip in New Delhi, India.
The Director of Public Prosecutions, Kaduna State, Mr Dari Bayero, confirmed this to The PUNCH on Tuesday. This was despite the Monday’s pledge by the Department of State Services, which had been keeping custody of the couple since 2015, to comply with the court’s order. Bayero said the government would file the appeal against the decision of the court along with “terms of agreement” for the cleric’s planned foreign trip. He said, “We are filing an appeal against the decision tomorrow (Wednesday). “We are also filing along with it terms of agreement on the trip.” However, El-Zakzaky’s lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), told our correspondent on Tuesday that he was not aware of any terms of agreement to be filed after the “clear and unambiguous” ruling of the court permitting his clients to embark on the foreign medical trip.
Falana said he would go by the announcement by the DSS to comply fully with the order of the court. He said, “I am not aware of any terms of agreement. The court’s ruling, which was essentially meant to save the lives of the applicants (El-Zakzaky and his wife), is clear and unambiguous. “The authority, the State Security Service, which is keeping the custody of the applicants, has signified its intention to comply fully with the court order. “That is where we stand and it is in line with the rule of law. “If they are not satisfied with the court’s order they know what to do.” Justice Dairus Khobo of the Kaduna State High Court had on Monday granted an application by the couple for permission to seek “urgent medical treatment at Medanta Hospital, New Delhi, India and to return to Nigeria (for continuation of trial) as soon as they are discharged from the hospital.”
The judge directed that the trip must be under the strict supervision of the state government’s officials. He also warned them not to go to any other hospital apart from the one they requested the court to allow them to visit. The couple had told the court through the application that they were battling, among other ailments that could not be treated in Nigeria, heavy metal poisoning caused by pellets of gunshots in their body. The couple’s application was opposed by the Kaduna State Government, insisting that the couple’s ailments could be treated In Nigeria. El-Zakzaky said he “suffers from severe recurrent stroke and shock,” with his only remaining eye almost going blind. The cleric said his wife too “suffers from heavy metal poisoning” as a result of “gunshot pellets lodged in the iliac region of the abdomen.” “That the heavy metabolic poisoning is 200 per cent higher than normal in the body system of each of the applicants,” a further affidavit filed in support of their application stated, in part. Falana had alleged that the couple were shot at by soldiers in the aftermath of the bloody clash between Shi’ites and the soldiers in the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State in December 2015. He attached to the application as exhibits medical reports issued after medical tests jointly carried out on the applicants by their personal physicians and government’s doctors.