The Federal Government has denied the allegation by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, that it interfered with the treatment terms of its leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
DAILY NIGERIAN reports that the Shiite group had accused the federal government of planning to kill their leader in India using its international connections.
In a statement on Friday by Ibrahim Musa, the President of the IMN’s media forum, said the interference of the government raised such suspicion, hence Mr El-Zakzaky’s decision to reject treatment in the hospital he was taken to.
According to him, it is glaringly clear that the Nigerian government had an ulterior motive for interfering with the procedures of the Sheikh’s treatment.
However, in a swift reaction, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Grace Isu-Gekpe, said that El-Zakzaky’s actions in India demonstrated malicious intents that were capable of embarrassing Nigerian government in India.
The permanent secretary, in a statement on Friday, stated that El-Zakzaky had wanted to seek asylum by initiating contacts with a team of lawyers led by Ali Zia Kabir Chaudary and Gunjan Singh in India.
“With total disrespect and complete loss of decorum for international procedures while in India, he initiated contacts with a team of lawyers led by Ali Zia Kabir Chaudary and Gunjan Singh in that country.
“He also contacted some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), such as the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and other Shiite groups. His aim was to seek asylum and eventually relocate to another country.
“It is important to note that if an Indian court had granted El-zakzaky asylum or leave to travel to another country, it would have violated the Nigerian court order that granted him permission to travel for medical treatment,” the statement read in part.
The permanent secretary further disclosed that El-Zakzaky used the opportunity of being in India to attempt to internationalise his cause by mobilising the Rights groups.
“Even most unfortunate and rather embarrassing as earlier stated, was his quest to be relocated to a 5-Star hotel to receive visitors instead of being admitted in the hospital as a sick person he claimed to be,” she stressed.
According to her, in spite of his misconduct, El-zakzaky’s spouse went further to antagonize the Indian and Nigerian security agents and accused the latter 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,” Mrs Isu-Gekpe noted.