Court verdict on Zakzaky: Victory against tyranny, impunity ― Shi’ites

•Promise to transfer them to appropriate foreign health facility

THE Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), on Monday, attributed the Kaduna State High Court verdict, which permitted its leader and his wife, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and Malama Zeenat, to proceed on medical treatment abroad, as a victory for truth and justice against tyranny and impunity.

It said the ruling was not only a vindication that leaving all doors open to obtain favourable outcomes works, but it was a victory for its dogged determination, patience and perseverance in the face of extreme persecution.

In a statement by the Chairman, Free Zakzaky Campaign Committee, Abdulrahman Abubakar Yola, a copy of which was made available to Tribune Online in Abuja, therefore, said with the ruling, the group would finalize urgent plans to transfer them to a more appropriate foreign health facility for further expert management as its awaits the response of the Nigerian government.

The movement then appreciated people of conscience, particularly some very senior citizens, diplomats, human rights activists and organisations, as well as journalists and general public, who doggedly stood by it in the campaign for justice for the victims of Zaria genocide.

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It, however, lamented that Zakzaky suffered series of mild strokes and was at the risk of further recurrences as a result of all physical and psychological stresses he passed through while in detention.

According to the group: “It will be recalled that the applicants are known to be clearly very ill in detention, consequent on the brutal wounds unjustifiably inflicted on them by the state agents in the name of Nigerian army, the resultant prolonged dehumanizing detention in the custody of the Department of State Security (DSS) and the obvious poisoning of the Sheikh.

“Meanwhile, he lost one eye following the military attack and is at severe risk of losing sight completely in the other. He is now found to have more than twenty times the toxic levels of lead poison in his body! Similarly, the wife has been under excruciating pains with shrapnel deeply lodged in her body for all these years of inhuman conditions in detention. She now is able to ambulate only with the use of a wheelchair.

“Both were not even able to make it to the court in the last two sittings. They have been battling ailments that could not be treated in Nigeria, as posited by the foreign medical experts that earlier in the year assessed their health condition. Undoubtedly, both risk losing their lives had this favourable ruling been denied or further delayed.

“We are all aware of the blurred human rights records of the Nigerian government which hardly respects court orders in contravention of the constitutional provisions.

“Previously, Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife were still kept in detention incommunicado in spite of previous court judgement ordering their immediate release from detention, thereby further flaunting their fundamental rights and further jeopardizing their deteriorating health.” The movement stressed.

It, therefore, expected the Federal Government to act urgently to respect the Nigerian constitution and the ruling of the court to grant the duo instant permit to travel for their treatment.

“As a peaceful movement, we have kept to our clean tradition of keeping faith with due process in seeking redress through peaceful means without any resort to violence despite deliberate and persistent provocations by the government.” The statement added.

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