The Kaduna State government is set to file an appeal against the decision of the Kaduna High Court to grant leave to the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zinat, to travel abroad for medical treatment.
The two were arrested in Kaduna in 2015 after soldiers killed over 300 members of the IMN when the sect clashed with the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai.
Corporal Yakubu Dankaduna, a soldier, was allegedly killed by IMN members when he alighted from Buratai’s convoy to disperse the group’s procession during the confrontation.
The government ignored a December 2016 ruling of a Federal High Court to release them.
In May 2018, El-Zakzaky and Zinat were eventually arraigned before the Kaduna High Court and charged with unlawful gathering, criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide, and denied bail by the court months later in November.
However, after filing a fresh application in July, the court granted El-Zakzaky and Zinat leave to travel to India for medical attention due to their failing health conditions in a ruling that was delivered on Monday, August 5.
After the ruling, prosecution counsel, Dari Bayero, hinted that the state could file an appeal after studying the judgement.
Bayero, Kaduna’s Director of Public Prosecutions, has now revealed to The Punch that an application will be filed against the court’s decision today, Wednesday, August 7.
“We are also filing along with it terms of agreement on the trip,” he said.
In its Monday ruling, the court said the defendants will be accompanied by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS), as well as other officials of the Kaduna State government.
The defendants will also remain at the approved Medanta Hospital in New Delhi, India until they make a complete recovery after which they’ll return to Nigeria for the continuation of the trial.
The DSS has announced that it’ll comply with the court’s directive.
El-Zakzaky’s continued detention has led to allegations of persecution by members of his sect who have taken to the streets several times in protest, leading to clashes with security agencies that have left dozens dead and hundreds incarcerated over the past year.
Last month, the Federal Government secured a court order to proscribe the group’s activities and brand it a terrorist organisation, a move that has been widely criticised.