By Umar Salam.
The Kaduna State Government has outlined a list of seven conditions which it insists must be met before the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, is allowed to embark on medical leave to India.
The state government, through a statement issued by the Commissioner of Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Aruwan, noted that it respects the ruling of the court which granted permission to El-Zakzaky to seek medical treatment overseas, but would lodge an appeal against the ruling to ensure strict supervision of the medical leave.
“An appeal will be lodged on the matter, but a stay of execution will not be sought as the state government believes that a person may choose to travel abroad for any medical condition at his own cost.
“But in the case of persons facing trial for serious offences, necessary safeguards are required to ensure that such persons do not become fugitives from justice or frustrate trial by claiming asylum or the status of political prisoner in the host country”, the statement said.
In a bid to guarantee strict supervision of El-Zakzaky’s medical leave, the following conditions were outlined by the state government:
1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall confirm the appointments of the defendants/applicants with the Medanta Hospital, India, and undertake all necessary diplomatic arrangements and protocols to ensure compliance with the conditions of the medical leave.
2. Each of the defendants/applicants shall undertake to return to Nigeria to continue their trial as soon as they are discharged from the hospital, and shall also be responsible for the cost of their travel, treatment and living expenses while on their medical leave.
3. Each of the defendants/applicants shall produce two prominent and reliable persons as sureties, one being a first class chief/emir of national repute and the other a prominent person within Kaduna State who shall undertake to produce the defendants whenever they are needed. The sureties must also produce evidence of landed property within Kaduna State.
4. The Federal Government of Nigeria shall obtain from the Government of India an irrevocable guarantee that it will not entertain any application by the defendants/applicants or any third party seeking asylum under any guise or conferring the status of political prisoners or any other status aside from being medical patients on the defendants/applicants and shall also restrain the defendants/applicants from any act inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria.
5. Each of the defendants/applicants shall undertake in writing, endorsed by their Counsel, that while on medical treatment in India, they shall do nothing to jeopardize the ongoing trial, the peace and security of Nigeria and the laws of the Republic of India in whatever form.
6. Security agents of the Federal Government of Nigeria shall escort the defendants/applicants and remain with them throughout the duration of their treatment in India and thereafter shall return with them after their discharge from the hospital.
7. The Nigerian High Commission in India shall undertake prior vetting and grant consent before any visitor has access to the defendants/applicants while in the Republic of India.