…As Buhari ignores El-Rufai’s conditions
By Ayo Fadimu
The leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria(IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim Elzakzaky and wife, Zeenat have been flown to India to get the medical attention as granted by the court.
The couple travelled with some family members amidst tight security on Monday evening. The IMN leader has been in detention for over two years despite court orders for his release. He will be receiving medical attention in an Indian hospital, according to his lawyer, Femi Falana.
In the meantime, there are strong indications that President Muhammadu Buhari might have jettisoned the stringent conditions prescribed by the Kaduna State government under Governor Nasir el Rufai before the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria(IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim Elzakzaky and wife could travel for treatment abroad.
According to an online portal, it waslearnt from security circles that President Buhari may have waved those conditions and approved that the IMN leader should proceed to get the medical attention as granted by the court and based on the advice from intelligence services. The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Department of State Security Service (DSS) who had been working behind the scene to resolve the impasse occasioned by the detention of Shiite leader have advised the presidency on the appropriateness of obeying the court orders since some foreign interests including the Iranian government have sought a diplomatic approach in managing the issue.
Speaking on the latest development, a human rights activist and lawyer to Sheikh Zakzaky, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) said the government disregard the so-called stringent conditions of the Kaduna State government before the Shiite leader and his wife could embark on the medical trip abroad. Falana said the condition stipulated by Kaduna State is totally alien to the penal code and the administration of criminal justice law because the agreement is not brought under any substantive or adjectival law and an agreement cannot vary or modify the order of a competent court.
The lawyer said that since the secret service which had the custody of the El-Zakzakys, had announced on behalf of the Federal Government that the court order would be obeyed, the so-called terms of “agreements” of the Kaduna State government under Governor Elrufai should be ignored because it is the height of provocative contempt.
The Kaduna State government had after the court order given fresh conditions which include the confirmation of his appointment with the hospital by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; an undertaking by the defendants to produce two prominent and reliable persons as sureties, one being a first-class chief/emir of national repute and the other a prominent person within Kaduna State, who shall undertake to produce the defendants whenever they are needed.
While the Kaduna State government respects the court’s ruling on medical leave, it disagrees with the premises on which it is based.