Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has denied the claim by the federal government that its leader, Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, wanted to seek asylum in India, stressing that the Shi’ite leader would not have elected to return home if he had plans to seek asylum.
The group described as “a campaign of calumny” claims by the federal government that el-Zakzaky, wanted to seek asylum in India before his repatriation to Nigeria last Friday.
IMN said the allegation was made by the government “to cover its own gross misconduct in a foreign land.”
In a statement yesterday in Abuja, the President, Media Forum of the IMN, Mr. Ibrahim Musa, alleged that the federal government went beyond its role of supervision to interfering in the medical process, dictating which doctors the sheikh and his wife must see, while refusing to allow them to access their own doctors at Medanta Hospital, New Delhi.
This, he said, confirmed the allegation that “the government had wanted to kill the sheikh in the name of medical treatment.”
Musa added that before efforts at resolving the impasse could be concluded, the sheikh was brought back to Nigeria “since their evil schemes could not be executed.”
The IMN said el-Zakzaky refused to be subjected to any breach in the basic ethical principles guiding medical treatment, including respect for persons, protecting the autonomy of all people and treating them with courtesy and respect and allowing for informed consent, which it alleged the federal government had contracted medical personnel in the hospital to breach.
It stated: “Being mindful of the government’s various previous plots to eliminate him since 2015, first through the barrels of the gun and much later through poisoning in detention while refusing him access to adequate medical care until the court’s intervention, the sheikh sensed the government’s intention of inducing killer doctors to finish what they had earlier started, now through the back door.
“He, therefore, insisted on having the presence of the doctors that initially assessed him in Nigeria, who also worked in that hospital, failing which, he preferred to return to Nigeria,” IMN said.
The sect added that the Shi’ite leader would not have elected to return home if he had plans to seek asylum.
“It is on record that it was the sheikh who requested to be brought back home, having been denied access to his doctors and rejecting the killer squad engaged to treat him instead.
“The campaign of calumny has been championed by the Federal Ministry of Information, which sarcastically even said they were apologising to India for the sheikh’s “unruly behaviour” rather than for their own obvious attempted assassination of somebody in another country!
“Isn’t it rather contradictory that someone allegedly seeking asylum would be unwilling to stay back irrespective of the circumstances but preferring instead to return to his home country. It is on record that it was the sheikh who requested to be brought back home having been denied access to his doctors and rejecting the killer squad engaged to “treat” him instead.
“The government’s claim that sheikh’s wife antagonised the Nigerian officials by accusing them of killing her three children is yet another spurious search for justification for its maltreatment of the couple.
Isn’t it true that it is the government that killed her three sons when its army invaded their residence at night in December 2015? Wasn’t her husband dragged over the corpses of their murdered children having been shot himself and left swimming in his own pool of blood? Wasn’t she also shot and left lying lifeless in the process? Were they expecting a cheer from her for all these severe gross violation of their fundamental rights, even as judged by a competent federal court?”