The Peace and Justice Forum has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for obeying court order, which allowed the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, to embark on medical vacation overseas.
Recall that a Kaduna Court led by Justice Darius Khobo had on August 5 granted El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, leave to travel abroad for medical treatment.
The group said by that singular gesture, the government proved that their detention and trial were not in bad faith but were necessary steps taken in the national interest.
Addressing newsmen on Sunday, the group through its President, Elder Andrew John Onuche, urged the court to commence the trial of the IMN leader without delay.
The group further called on el-Zakzaky’s counsel, Chief Femi Falana (SAN) and his supporters to prevail on him to defend himself in the court where he is being tried and stop the unnecessary comedy of embarking on medical tourism as an escape plot.
The statement below.
“The basis for these violent protests was the excuse that IMN were protesting for their leader, Mr Ibraheem el-Zakzaky to be freed even though he was in custody while being in trial. While the protests began as unruly affairs that involve IMN members menacing innocent Nigerians and depriving them of moving freely about their daily business, the propaganda launched – with the support of the Islamic Republic of Iran – that el-Zakzaky was mortally sick became a basis for them to engage in full-blown terrorist activities, including a brazen attempt to overthrow the National Assembly as well as targeted assassination of police officers and journalists.
“Note that a group of doctors from Iran visited el-Zakzaky and his wife in detention came up with a catalog of ailments that hinted the leader of the terrorist organization may have only weeks to live if he was not urgently flown abroad for treatment. They created the impression that the hospitals in Nigeria are unable to treat his ailments. This assertion was curiously reinforced by a team of 186 doctors from seven countries, who were mostly Shias like el-Zakzaky.
“We thank the Federal Government for taking the humanitarian step of allowing el-Zakzaky and his wife to seek treatment abroad, even when acceding to this request appeared like pandering to the demands of terrorists. By that singular gesture, the government proved that his detention and trial were not in bad faith but were necessary steps taken in national interest.
“El-Zakzaky is now back in Nigeria as the authorities in India found him insufferable and disruptive to the point that they were not able to put up with his behaviour for 72 hours – law-abiding Nigerians should thus be commended for enduring decades of this plague in human form.
“He was simply belligerent; he pestered the security accompanying him to return his passport during a Dubai stopover, he wanted to be checked into a five-star hotel, he rejected treatment from one hospital and rejected assigned doctors when he eventually got to his preferred hospital. He refused to submit for pre-treatment tests but was rather receiving an assortment of visitors and above all made a video broadcast that gave him away as a scam, a fraud,” the statement said.