6 August 2019
A Nigerian court has granted bail to imprisoned Muslim cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky so that he can fly to India for medical care. The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria has been in custody along with his wife since December 2015. The authorities have previously ignored a court order to release the Muslim leader.
The court granted bail for medical care to the leader of the Islamic Movement in the African country. Zakzaky did not attend Monday’s hearing in Kaduna because of his poor health.
The judgement followed several weeks of trials, postponements and the presentation of medical reports from at least eight doctors in Nigeria and abroad. The prosecutors have said that they are expecting Sheikh Zakzaky to be back as soon as he finished treatment in India so that he can continue to face the charges against him.
He has been charged with unlawful assembly and disruption of public peace. They said they are studying the ruling, but they are in accord with the judge for now.
Zakzaky supporters have intensified their protests after reports emerged that the health conditions of the Muslim cleric were deteriorating.
The protests in Abuja, the Nigerian capital and other cities have resulted in the killing of many Zakzaky supporters. The ruling has now bought a sigh of relief.
Despite a high court ruling granting him release, Zakzaky and his wife have been in prison since 2015 after a deadly army crackdown in Kaduna state. Doctors say pellets in Zakzaky’s body have not been removed after four years, and have caused lead poisoning.
Experts have said that this ruling which allowed Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat to travel abroad for medical treatment is expected to calm down many of his supporters.
However, they said this will also be a window of opportunity for the Nigerian government to address other related issues once and for all.
By Danjuma Abdullahi. This report first appeared on Iran’s state-owned Press TV.