The federal government has said that the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, was brought back from India, where he was taken to undergo treatment, because he was seeking asylum in the Asian country while also becoming unruly and constituting an embarrassment to Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of of Information and Culture, Grace Isu Gekpe , said this in a statement on Friday.
Gekpe said El-Zakzaky’s actions in India demonstrated malicious intents that were capable of embarrassing the governments of both Nigeria and India.
She said that the leader of the Shiite group demonstrated total disrespect and complete loss of decorum for international procedures while in India, where he was making subtle contacts with a team of lawyers led by Ali Zia Kabir Chaudary and Gunjan Singh.
He was also accused of contacting some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), such as the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and other Shiite groups, with the aim to seek asylum and eventually relocate to another country.
“The earlier statement of 14th August 2019 by the Government addressed the issues that would have raised some questions with the latest occurrences and particularly the uncelebrated return of El-Zakzaky from India.
“The public may note that with total disrespect and complete loss of decorum for international procedures while in India, he initiated contacts with a team of lawyers led by Ali Zia Kabir Chaudary and Gunjan Singh in that country. He also contacted some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), such as the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) and other Shiite groups. His aim was to seek asylum and eventually relocate to another country.
”It is important to note that if an Indian court had granted El-Zakzaky asylum or leave to travel to another country, it would have violated the Nigerian court order that granted him permission to travel for medical treatment. However, he used the opportunity of being in India to attempt to internationalise his cause by mobilising the rights groups. Even most unfortunate and rather embarrassing as earlier stated, was his quest to be relocated to a 5-Star hotel to receive visitors instead of being admitted in the hospital as a sick person he claimed to be,” Gekpe said.
She also added that in spite of his misconduct, El-Zakzaky’s spouse went further to antagonise the Indian and Nigerian security agents and accused the latter of killing her children, saying these acts were aimed at winning international sympathy as well as disparaging the Nigerian government.
“Having subordinated the quest for medical treatment to other ulterior motives, it became obvious that El-Zakzaky was focused on realising some sinister motives thus the decision to return him to Nigeria,” Gekpe said.