World, Africa

Nigeria: Detained Shia head shortens medical India trip

Ibrahim el-Zakzaky left for New Delhi on Monday, after granted court permission to seek medical treatment abroad

Olarewaju Kola   | 16.08.2019
Nigeria: Detained Shia head shortens medical India trip FILE PHOTO


Detained leader of Shia Muslims in Nigeria cut his medical trip in India short to return to Nigeria over security impasse, the group said on Friday.

Ibrahim Musa, the spokesman of the group, told Anadolu Agency in Maiduguri, Borno state that Ibrahim el-Zakzaky and his wife arrived in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, at noon, five days after they left for the Indian capital New Delhi for medical treatment.

“Sheikh and his wife just landed at the airport. They have been whisked away by the security agents as they did in India,” Musa said.

“The sheikh didn't refuse treatment in India,” the spokesman said, but he decided to return because “the Nigerian government has ulterior motives”.

El-Zakzaky, who has been in detention since 2015, and his wife departed Nigeria for India on Monday after a court granted him permission to seek medical treatment abroad.

The court also granted the government to make some security personnel to escort him throughout the medical trip, a request which the Shi'a leader frowned at.

The government on Wednesday said in a statement that the Shi'a leader turned down an offer to be treated by doctors at the hospital other than his preferred medical personnel.

"Against medical ethics and standard practice, he requested to nominate doctors of his choice. He demanded free movement and access to visitors of all kinds. He requested to be allowed to check into a five-star hotel instead of being admitted in the hospital," the government said in a statement.

Zakzaky has been detained since 2015 following face-off between his followers and convoy of the army chief in the northwestern Kaduna state.

Shi'a members have organized a series of protests in Nigeria’s parliament and the commercial city of Lagos, leading to the death of over 30 people, including a police officer.

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