Court grants bail to ailing Islamic leader
Publish date: 12 August 2019
Issue Number: 836
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
The Kaduna State High Court has granted the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife Zeenatu Zakzaky, bail for medical reasons. However, the Premium Times reports that it remains to be seen whether the government will adhere to the court order. El-Zakzaky had requested permission to travel to India to receive medical treatment at the Mandeta Hospital in New Delhi. Legalbrief reports that El-Zakzaky began propagating Shia Islam around 1979, at the time of the Iranian Revolution which saw Iran’s monarchy overthrown and replaced with an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Khomeini. He promoted the establishment of a republic along similar religious lines in Nigeria. The couple has been in detention since 2015 when soldiers raided the IMN headquarters in Zaria and killed at least 347 Shiites. The government accused the group of not recognising the Nigerian Constitution and authority. They have remained in state detention despite a court ordering their release in 2016. As previously reported in Legalbrief Today, Nigeria this weekend questioned the activities of Amnesty International after it condemned the detention of El-Zakyzaky and his wife. ‘Pro-government' protesters mounted a demonstration outside the Abuja office of Amnesty International on Friday and the presidency subsequently issued a tweet saying said it had no objection to Amnesty’s activities but questioned 'their promotion of tweets that call for the overthrow of the Nigerian Constitution'. Amnesty spokesperson Isa Sanusi issued a statement saying it is not affiliated to any interests; political, religious or commercial.