The Nigerian Government on Friday opened up on the circumstances leading to the “repatriation” of the leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky from India.
Mrs Grace Gekpe, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture in a statement on Friday in Abuja said the acts of misconduct exhibited by El-Zakzaky in India necessitated his repatriation.
“First of all, it was El-Zakzaky himself that chose the Medanta Hospital in India for his treatment; the Federal Government gave him the option to choose any hospital in the world and he chose Medanta.
“The public may note that El-Zakzaky’s actions in India demonstrated malicious intents that were capable of embarrassing the governments of Nigeria and India.
“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 Organisations such as the Islamic Human Rights Commission 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, it would have violated the Nigerian court order that granted him permission to travel for medical treatment,” Gekpe said.
According to her, El-Zakzaky used the opportunity of being in India to attempt to internationalise his cause by mobilising the right groups.
She added that the most unfortunate and embarrassing was his quest to be relocated to a five-star hotel to receive visitors instead of being admitted in the hospital as a sick person he claimed to be.
Gekpe explained further that in spite of his misconduct, El-Zakzaky’s spouse went further to antagonise the Indian and Nigerian security agents and accused them of killing her children.
“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 stressed.
The Nigerian Government and its relevant agencies took the step to comply with the court that granted El-Zakzaky leave to travel to India via Dubai for medical treatment.
According to reports, on reaching Dubai El-Zakzaky began to display ulterior motive against laid down procedures requesting for his passport to be handed over to him, but state officials would not budge to his pressure.
Authorities said the situation became worse in India when he refused to subject himself to preliminary medical checks.