El-Zakzaky attempts flouting procedures in India – Nigeria

Solomon Chung, Abuja


The Nigerian government has expressed concern over the behavior and disregard for agreed protocol by the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky in India.

In a statement, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information and Culture, Grace Gekpe said on arrival, El-Zakzaky began to display some suspicious behaviours at the hospital he chose for treatment.

“The court on August 5, 2019 granted the Shiite leader leave to travel to India for medical treatment.  Consequently, the Government and its relevant agencies took steps to comply with the Order. 

”In line with the Court Order, El-Zakzaky was approved to embark on the trip with State officials and his choice to be accompanied by his aides and personal doctors was not opposed by the government,” the statement reads.

“On August 12, 2019, El-Zakzaky and other members of his entourage went to India via Dubai. He had 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, the statement also revealed that, “he demanded free movement and access to visitors of all kinds as well as requested to be allowed to check into a 5-Star Hotel instead of being admitted in the hospital which was clearly 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). 

“As if that was not enough, Mr. EL-Zakzaky also demanded that Police protection be withdrawn from him by the Indian authorities. 

“All that he displayed were against medical ethics and standard practice, he also requested to nominate Doctors of his choice to join the ones tasked by Medanta Hospital to perform medical treatment on him and his wife.

“According to the Nigerian government  this displays and scenarios created a stalemate.

“For example, the Hospital insisted that he would not dictate to it on the choice of medical personnel to carry out the required medical treatment.

“Frustrated by such 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 has commended the stand of the Indian Government as well as apologize to them 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.”

The IMN leader was granted bail by Nigerian court to seek medical treatment after which he will return to continue with his trial according to the laws of the land.


Mercy Chukwudiebere