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By Monday August 5th, the State High Court in Kaduna will rule on the application by the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, also known as Shi’ites, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, seeking permission to travel to India for medical treatment.
The couple, in their application, specifically sought the court’s permission to seek “urgent medical treatment at Medanta Hospital, New Delhi, India and to return to Nigeria (for continuation of trial) as soon as they are discharged from the hospital.”
The couple told the court through the application that they were battling ailments that could not be treated in Nigeria, such as heavy metal poisoning caused by pellets of gunshots in their body. Their lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), argued the application before Justice Darius Khobo on July 29, 2019.
The couple’s application was opposed to by the Kaduna State Government through the Director, Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice, Diri Bayero. The court then fixed August 5 (Monday) for ruling. The couple’s application stated that El-Zakzaky “suffers from severe recurrent stroke and shock,” with his only remaining eye almost going blind and heavy metal poisoning in his system.
It added that his wife too “suffers from heavy metal poisoning” as a result of “gunshot pellets lodged in the iliac region of the abdomen.” “That the heavy metabolic poisoning is 200 per cent higher than normal in the body system of each of the applicants,” a further affidavit filed in support of their application stated in part.
Falana had alleged that the couple were shot at by soldiers in the aftermath of the bloody clash between Shi’ites and the soldiers in the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State in December 2015.
A further affidavit filed in support of the application cited information obtained from the couple’s physician, Dr Ramatu Abubakar, that her medical team had attended to them on many occasions at the Kaduna State Environmental Protection Agency health facility “which is grossly inadequate in meeting the dire health challenges of the applicants herein.” It added that on Sunday, July 14, 2019, the doctor was hurriedly called in to attend to El-Zakzaky “after he again relapsed into partial stroke.”