A high court in Kaduna state has ruled that Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), should be allowed to travel to India for medical treatment.
The IMN leader, who has been in detention since 2015, had applied for medical leave, citing poor health.
He and Zeenat, his wife, were arrested after some of his followers clashed with soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna state.
Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had a filed an application on behalf of El-Zakzaky and his wife.
Dairus Khobo, the presiding judge, had ordered that the IMN leader and his wife should be allowed to seek treatment abroad but that they should be accompanied by the officials of the Kaduna state government and personnel of the Department of State Security (DSS).
He said the IMN leader must return immediately after his discharge from the hospital to face his charges.
Dari Bayero, state director of public prosecution, briefed reporters shortly after Monday’s ruling in Kaduna.
Bayero who is the respondent in El-Zazaky’s application, said the team had taken time and examined the eight medical reports by Nigerian and foreign doctors that accompanied the IMN leader’s application.
“The context of the court ruling is that Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife are granted leave to travel out for urgent medical attention,” he said.
“The court looked through the medical reports filed and believed Mallam is indeed in dire need of medical attention.
“This is not a bail, but a leave to travel. So as soon as his discharged from the hospital and he returns to the country , his trial will resume.”
Bayero said the team of lawyers would study the ruling and explore whether there is need for appeal. “We have a month to go through that.”
On his part Marshal Abubakar, counsel to El-Zakzaky, said before July 29, the lead counsel to the applicant , Femi Falana was in the court to move the application, which was adjourned till Monday.
“It is not a bail application as is being wrongly reported by some media, it was an application to save the life of the applicants, el-Zakzaky and his wife,” he said.
According to him, “the ruling came up today and the court 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 shows the applicants are in dire need of medical treatment abroad.
“The court agreed that they should be allowed to seek for treatment that they sort for and with supervision.”
The IMN leader is standing trial in another court over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly and disruption of public peace among other charges.