A federal High Court sitting in Kaduna state, northern Nigeria has granted medical leave to the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife Zeenat.
Justice Darius Khobo who presided over the case ordered that El-Zakzaky and his wife proceed to India for medical treatment and be accompanied by Kaduna State government officials.
He said the IMN leader must return immediately after his discharge from the hospital to face his charges.
The IMN leader and his wife had applied to the court seeking to travel, following poor health while in detention.
The State Director of Public Prosecution, Mr Dari Bayero, briefed newsmen, shortly after Monday’s ruling in Kaduna.
Mr. Bayero who is the respondent in El-Zazaky’s application, said the team had taken time and examined the eight medical reports by Nigerian and foreign doctors that accompanied the IMN leader’s application.
“The context of the court ruling is that Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife are granted leave to travel out for urgent medical attention.
“The court looked through the medical reports filed and believed Mallam is indeed in dire need of medical attention.
“This is not a bail, but a leave to travel. So as soon as his discharge from the hospital and he returns to the country , his trial will resume,” he said.
Bayero said the team of lawyers would study the ruling and explore whether there is need for appeal. “We have a month to go through that.”
On his part Mr Marshal Abubakar, counsel to El-Zakzaky recalled that before July 29, the lead counsel to the applicant , Femi Falana was in the court to move the application, which was adjourned to today.
”It is not a bail application as is being wrongly reported by some media, it was an application to save the life of the applicants, el-Zakzaky and his wife.”
According to him, “the ruling came up today and the court graciously agreed with Mr Femi Falana SAN and the various medical reports that were attached to the applications.
” There were eight medical reports that clearly shows the applicants are in dire need of medical treatment abroad.
“The court agreed that they should be allowed to seek for treatment that they sort for and with supervision,” Marshal said.
The IMN leader will be gooing for the treatment at Medanta Hospital, New Delhi, India.
El-Zazaky had in the application said he and his wife would return to Nigeria as soon as they were discharged.
The IMN leader is standing trial in another court over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of public peace among other charges.
Justice Gideon Kurada, who was handling the case, had on April 25 adjourned the trial of the IMN leader indefinitely.
The indefinite adjournment was to enable the judge serve on the panel of the Presidential and National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal in Yobe.
Before the indefinite adjournment, the court had on January 22, ordered the Kaduna State Government to avail the IMN leader and his wife Zinat, access to medical service.