By Danladi Al-Hassan
The Federal Government has accused Ibraheem el-Zakzaky, leader of proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) of trying to seek asylum in another country while on his brief stay in India.
Grace Gekpe, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, in a statement on Friday, said while in India, IMN leader reached out to international non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and some lawyers.
The IMN leader departed country on Monday after a high court gave him permission to go for treatment but returned to the country on Friday without being treated.
However, 24 hours after he landed there, El-Zakzaky raised the alarm that the Federal Government was frustrating him.
But Gekpe said El-Zakzaky’s actions in India “demonstrated malicious intents that were capable of embarrassing the governments of Nigeria and India.”
She said Zeenat, wife of the IMN leader, accused the security agents who accompanied them on the trip of killing her children.
“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,” she said.
“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.
“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.”