The Kaduna State High Court in Kaduna will on Monday (tomorrow) 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, Mr. 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, Mr 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 had to attend 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.”
The court paper also stated, “That the applicants herein, particularly the 2nd applicant, have heavy metal poisoning in their body system as a result of the inability of the complainant/respondent (prosecution)and their agents to evacuate the toxicity ensuing from the life-threatening gunshot injury they sustained during the December 25, 2015 raid on their home.
“That heavy metal poisoning is a severe condition that can damage the whole organ and sudden death may occur if emergency treatment is not obtained.
“That each of the applicants currently suffers from severe medical conditions like heavy metal poisoning, recurrent metabolism inter alia.
“That in addition to the above, the 1st applicant also suffers from severe recurrent stroke and shock and his body has been deteriorating, including inability to walk.”
But opposing the application, the prosecution led by the Kaduna State DPP, Bayero, stated that the couple would jump bail if they were released under any guise.
The state government added that there were facilities in the country that could take care of the conditions of the couple as the court had earlier granted them access to their physicians.
The counter-affidavit read in part, “There are facilities in the country that can take care of the applicants’ health needs.
“That the honourable trial court has given the applicants the right and access to them by their physicians and medical team.
“That the applicants if released under whatever guise will jump bail and never attend their trial.”
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