CONTRARY to the claim of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), of being treated like a criminal in India, the Nigerian government has accused him of displaying “unruly behaviour”, and making requests against “standard practice”.
El-Zakaky who had been in the detention of the Department of State Security Service since 2015 was granted permission by the court on August 5 to attend to his health, and on Monday he flew to Medanta Hospital in India.
His daughter, Suhaila Zakzaky, told the BBC in an interview on Thursday that he was suffering for lead and cadmium poisoning.
She said that the poisoning might be a result of shrapnel in his body “from when he was shot in 2015 when the Nigerian army raided our home”.
Meanwhile, El-Zakzaky’s complained in a video on Wednesday about how he was being treated in India “like a criminal” and not trusting the medical team assigned to him.
He accused the federal government of frustrating his medical treatment, with stringent security measures, worse than his stay in Nigeria.
The IMN leader added that he was in India for another detention as there were security agencies locked on every angle of his hospital apartment.
Responding to his claim, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Information and Culture, Grace Gekpe said El-Zakzaky had begun to “display ulterior motives against laid down procedures” on getting abroad.
She outlined a series of requests made by El-Zakzaky to include handing over his passport to him, demanding free movement and access to visitors of all kinds. Gekpe said he also asked to be allowed to check into a 5-Star Hotel instead of being admitted in the hospital.
She added he had refused to subject himself to preliminary medical checks at the Medanta Indian Hospital, a hospital he chose before travelling out of the country.
Gekpe said he requested to nominate Doctors of his choice to join the ones tasked by Medanta Hospital to perform medical treatment on him and his wife. “This created a stalemate, which the Hospital insisted that he would not dictate to it on the choice of medical personnel to carry the required medical treatment,” she said.
All those requests were not fulfiled as he was in the “country for medicals and not as a tourist”, said Gekpe.
“Frustrated by his antics, the Indian authorities have expressed willingness to return him to Nigeria with immediate effect. This is on the account that they will not allow him to use their country to internationalize his group’s activities,” she said.
The Nigerian government commended the stand of the Indian Government as well as apologised for El-Zakzaky’s “unruly behaviour”.
It affirmed its readiness to undertake his prosecution through the due process when he returned to Nigeria.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the Shi’ite sect, Ibrahim Musa said on Thursday that the controversy surrounding his leader’s treatment has been resolved.