The Federal Government on Friday explained the circumstances that led to the “repatriation” of the leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheik Ibrahim El-zakzaky, from India.
Mrs. Grace Gekpe, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in a statement on Friday in Abuja, said that “acts of misconduct exhibited by El-Zakzaky in India necessitated his repatriation”.
“First of all, it was El-Zakzaky himself that chose the Medanta Hospital in India for his treatment; the Federal Government gave him the option to chose any hospital in the world and he chose Medanta.
“The public may note that El-Zakzaky’s actions in India demonstrated malicious intents that were capable of embarrassing the governments of Nigeria and India.
“With total disrespect and complete loss of decorum for international procedures, El-Zakzaky, while in India, initiated contacts with a team of lawyers, led by Ali Zia, Kabir Chaudary and Gunjan Singh. His aim was to seek asylum in that country.
“He also contacted some Non-Governmental Organisations such as the Islamic Human Rights Commission and other Shiite groups in pursuant of the goal.
“It is important to note that if an Indian court had granted El-Zakzaky asylum, it would have violated the Nigerian court order that granted him permission to travel for medical treatment,” Gekpe said.
According to her, El-Zakzaky used the opportunity of being in India to attempt to internationalise his cause by mobilising the right groups.
She added that the most unfortunate and embarrassing aspect was his quest to be relocated to a five-star hotel to receive visitors instead of being admitted in the hospital as a sick person he claimed to be.
Gekpe explained further that in spite of his misconduct, El-Zakzaky’s wife went further to antagonise the Indian and Nigerian security agents and accused them of killing her children.
“These acts were aimed at winning international sympathy as well as disparaging the Nigerian Government.
“Having subordinated the quest for medical treatment to other ulterior motives, it became obvious that El-Zakzaky was focused on realising some sinister motives, thus the decision to return him to Nigeria,” Gekpe said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the Nigerian Government and its relevant agencies took steps to comply with a Kaduna High court order that granted El-Zakzaky leave to travel to India for medical treatment.
The man, who is facing an 8-count charge bordering on homicide, had been in detention since 2015.
But the government, in a statement on Wednesday, Aug. 14, said that El-Zakzaky, while in India, began to display ulterior motives against laid down procedures by requesting that his International Passport be handed over to him, a request security agents ignored.
The statement said that the situation became worse when the cleric refused to subject himself to preliminary medical checks.