El-Zakzaky’s release wasn’t a bail— Marshal Abubakar

The Department of State Services, DSS, yesterday released Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, following the order at Kaduna High Court, therefore, he could finally, as agreed by the court, travel to India for his medical attention.

Public Relations Officer of DSS, Dr. Peter Afunanya, confirmed the released in brief statement in Abuja, last night.

El-Zakzaky and his wife, who were not in court, have been in detention since 2015, following a bloody clash between members of IMN and the military that left scores of his members dead.

Protests recently organized by his members to pressure the government to release him turned bloody, in the process of the protest, some of his members as well as a senior police officer and a Channels Television reporter were killed.

Because of that outrage, the Nigerian Government obtained a court order, which designated the IMN as a terrorist organization and banned its operations.

At the resumed hearing of the bail application filed by El-Zakzaky’s counsel, Justice Dairus Khobo, granted the defense counsel’s request for the defendants to proceed to India in order to seek medical attention.

The court also ruled that El-Zakzaky and his wife be accompanied on the trip by DSS personnel and officials of the state.

Addressing the journalists outside the court premises, the lead prosecution counsel, who is the state Director of Public Prosecution, Dari Bayero, said that “the judge was satisfied with the medical certificate tendered by El-Zakzaky and has granted him permission to travel to India to seek medical attention”.

In his own words, He said and I quote: “The court granted the defendant permission to seek medical attention under the strict supervision of the prosecution (state).

‘’The judge said from the medical reports filed by Mallam (El Zakzaky), he is, indeed, in dire need of medical attention. It’s not necessarily a bail but he has been granted a leave to travel for his medical attention.

He further stated that when he is discharged by the hospital; he will come back and continue his trial. The court heard the arguments of the counsel and has ruled. We are bound by the ruling of the court.”

The prosecution counsel also said that their team would study the judgment before taking the next decision on whether to appeal the case or not.

Also speaking with journalists, counsel to El-Zakzaky, Marshal Abubakar, said that what the court did was not to grant bail to the defendant but to rule that he should proceed to India to save his life.

He added that: “It was not a bail application. It was an application to save the life of the applicants, El-Zakzaky and his wife.  The ruling came up on 6th August 2019, and the judge, Justice Darius, graciously agreed with Mr Femi Falana, SAN, and the various medical reports that were attached to the applications.

‘’There were eight medical reports that clearly showed the applicants were in dire need of medical treatment abroad.  The court agreed that they should be allowed immediate treatment that they sought, with supervision.”

It’s a victory for truth, justice against tyranny, impunity —IMN

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