By Ese Awhotu
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has alleged that its leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife are being maltreated in Medanta Hospital, New Delhi were his is currently seeking medical treatment.
IMN said the Nigerian Government has allegedly prevented the doctors from treating El-Zakzaky in India.
But the Federal Government has accused El-Zakzaky, of “becoming uncontrollable” in India.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Culture, Grace Gekpe, alleged this in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.
Gekpe who was reacting to an audio message in which El-Zakzaky alleged maltreatment in the Indian hospital, described his claim as “a foul cry” that should be disregarded.
The Secretary General, Academic Forum of the IMN, Abdullahi Musa, who addressed journalists in Abuja yesterday, said the security agencies that accompanied El-Zakzaky have just given him two hours to accept to be treated as a criminal.
El-Zakzaky had earlier expressed displeasure on how he was being treated at the Indian hospital, describing it as “pathetic and worrisome situation”.
He described the conditions at the Indian hospital he was taken to as worse than that of Nigeria.
El-Zakzaky stated this in an audio message recorded in Hausa language on Wednesday.
He said the doctors who came to treat him were strange to him and were not the ones he was scheduled to see.
According to him, “The hospital officials received us well they told us that they parked two ambulance vehicles, deceiving the crowd while taking us out through another way, saying that it was for our own safety.”
He alleged that the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Indian government connived to change his doctors.
Meanwhile, a member of the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) who spoke to PRNigeria via an audio tape said the attitude of Indian government has portrayed El-Zakzaky as a common criminal when no court in Nigeria has convicted him.
The source said that the Indian government has given Elzakzaky ultimatum to leave Indian soil if he refuses to receive treatment from unknown doctors billed to treat him.
“I just received a very worrying news from the Indian government that ultimatum has been given to the Leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria(IMN) to leave India if he does not agree to the Doctors specified to treat him. From the way that he is being treated is extremely bad”, the IHRC representative said.
“Under the current situation, it seems he has no choice other than to go back to Nigeria. He has been given some hours to respond to their ultimatum. This is to me is totally, utterly unacceptable by any standard, either international standards or Indian standards or that of humanity”, the IHRC chief said.
He further noted that “This is a man that has not been found guilty of anything to the extent that in his own country, the highest court has granted him permission that he should be treated. The Indian government by their behavior depicts Sheikh Elzakzaky as a common criminal. This is really outrageous and those who stand for justice should please respond.”
Recall that El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zinat, departed to India for medical treatment on Monday, August 12, 2019.
This is in accordance with a recent ruling by the Kaduna High Court permitting the couple to seek treatment for their failing health after nearly four years in detention.
The two were arrested in Kaduna in December 2015 after soldiers killed over 300 members of the IMN when the sect clashed with the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai.
Corporal Yakubu Dankaduna, a soldier, was allegedly killed by IMN members when he alighted from Buratai’s convoy to disperse the group’s procession during the confrontation.
The government ignored a December 2016 ruling of a Federal High Court to release them.
In May 2018, El-Zakzaky and Zinat were eventually arraigned before the Kaduna High Court and charged with unlawful gathering, criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide, and denied bail by the court months later in November.
However, after filing a fresh application in July, the court granted El-Zakzaky and Zinat leave to travel to India for medical attention due to their failing health conditions in a ruling that was delivered on August 5.