The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, on Monday evening left the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for India on a medical trip.
It was, however. gathered that El-Zakzaky, and his wife, rejected the Federal Government’s offer of a private jet for their Indian trip.
According to government sources, “they told the government officials that they requested the court to permit them to travel to India to treat themselves at their personal cost, which they said included the cost of the flight.
“The couple, in turning down the offer, said it would be a departure from the court’s ruling if they accepted to travel on a government’s sponsored trip.”
It was learnt that they flew to India on an Emirates plane on Monday.
The IMN Spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, confirmed the development to one of our correspondents on the telephone.
He stated, “The Sheikh has departed Abuja airport with his wife for their trip to India. They went on an Emirates Airline flight which took off around 7pm. They were accompanied by the DSS operatives and a few family members.”
Also confirming the development in a statement, the Chairman, Free Zakzaky Campaign Committee, Abdurrahman Yola, said the trip went without hitches “in spite of the attempted efforts at frustrating this emergency medical journey by the Kaduna State Government.”
He explained the Islamic cleric need to travel because of wounds inflicted on the couple by state agents and “the resultant prolonged dehumanising detention in the custody of the DSS and the obvious poisoning of the Sheikh.”
The group said, “At the same time, he (El-Zakzaky) lost one eye following the military attack and is at a severe risk of losing his sight completely in the other.
“He is now found to have more than 20 times the toxic levels of lead poison in his body. Similarly, the wife has been under excruciating pains with shrapnels deeply lodged in her body for all these years of inhuman conditions in detention.
“She is able to move around only with the use of a wheelchair, even to the airport. They have been battling ailments that could not be treated in Nigeria, as posited by foreign medical experts that earlier in the year assessed their health conditions. Undoubtedly, both of them risk losing their lives had the medical journey been further delayed or denied.”