The Federal Government has said the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, was violating the bail conditions granted him and his wife by the Federal High Court, Kaduna.
Reacting to an audio message in which El-Zakzaky complained about the increased security presence around him in the Indian hospital, FG said El-Zakzaky was “becoming uncontrollable.”
A statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Culture, Grace Gekpe, described El-Zakzaky’s claim as “a foul cry” that should be disregarded.
She explained that the Islamic cleric started displaying “ulterior motives against laid down procedures” when he and his wife had a stopover in Dubai.
El-Zakzaky was also said to have rejected the Medanta Hospital, India, which he chose, but instead, wanted to be taken to a five-star hotel.
According to Gekpe, the situation got to a stage that the Indian authorities expressed their readiness to return him to Nigeria.
“On August 12, 2019, he and other members of the entourage went to India via Dubai. It is to be noted that El-Zakzaky particularly chose Medanta Hospital, India. However, on reaching Dubai, El-Zakzaky began to display ulterior motives against laid down procedures.
“He requested that his passport be handed over to him but the state officials would not budge to his pressure. The situation became worse in India as he refused to subject himself to preliminary medical checks.
“In addition, he demanded free movement and access to visitors of all kinds as well as requested to be allowed to check into a five-star hotel instead of being admitted in the hospital.
“The request was refused on the ground that he came into the country for medicals and not as a tourist (more so that his Visa was issued on medical grounds and not for tourism). He also demanded that police protection be withdrawn from him by the Indian authorities.”
Gekpe further alleged that, “against medical ethics and standard practice, El-Zakzaky requested to nominate doctors of his choice to join the ones tasked by Medanta Hospital to perform medical treatment on him and his wife.”
This, she added, created a stalemate, and the hospital insisted that he would not dictate to it on the choice of medical personnel to carry out the required medical treatment.
She added, “Frustrated by his antics, the Indian authorities have expressed willingness to return him to Nigeria with immediate effect.
“This is on the account that they will not allow him use their country to internationalise his group’s activities.
“Against this background, the Nigerian government wishes to commend the stand of the Indian Government as well as apologise to her for the unruly behaviour of El-Zakzaky.
“Similarly, the attention of the public and, indeed, the international community, is hereby drawn to these unfortunate developments.
“The government also wishes to use this opportunity to affirm its readiness to undertake the prosecution of El-Zakzaky through due process if and when he is returned to the country.
“On this note, his foul cry that he is being held in circumstances worse than he was in Nigeria should be disregarded.”