The Kaduna State Government said it respects the court’s ruling granting permission to Islamic Movement of Nigeria leader, lbrahim El-Zakzaky to travel to India for treatment.

The government, however, said it would lodge an appeal against the ruling.

Mr Samuel Aruwan, Commissioner, Internal Security and Home Affairs said in a statement in Kaduna on Wednesday.

“An appeal will be lodged on the matter, but a stay of execution will not be sought as the state government believes that a person may choose to travel abroad for any medical condition at his own cost.”

He said the government respects the right of anyone to seek treatment anywhere in the world, “even for malaria or common cold, so long as they are paying for it.

“But in the case of persons facing trial for serious offences, necessary safeguards are required to ensure that such persons do not become fugitives from justice or frustrate trial by claiming asylum or the status of political prisoner in the host country.”

According to him, in compliance with the court ruling, the state government has filed at the Kaduna High Court, terms for strict supervision of the medical leave granted El-Zakzaky.

Under the terms, the state government wants the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to confirm the appointments of the applicants with the Medanta Hospital, India.

It also asked the ministry to undertake all necessary diplomatic arrangements and protocols to ensure compliance with the conditions of the medical leave.

The statement also said each of the applicants should be made to make an undertaking to return to Nigeria to continue their trial as soon as they are discharged from the hospital.

The government also wants El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, to be responsible for the cost of their travel, treatment and living expenses while on their medical leave.

“Each of the defendants/applicants shall produce two prominent and reliable persons as sureties, one being a first class chief or emir of national repute and the other a prominent person within Kaduna State, who shall undertake to produce the defendants whenever they are needed.

“The sureties must also produce evidence of landed property within Kaduna State.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria shall obtain from the Government of India an irrevocable guarantee that it will not entertain any application by the defendants/applicants.

“Or any third party seeking asylum under any guise or conferring the status of political prisoners or any other status aside from being medical patients on the defendants/applicants and shall also restrain the defendants/applicants from any act inimical to the corporate existence of Nigeria.”

News Agency of Nigeria recalls that a Kaduna High Court, on Aug. 5, granted El-Zakzaky and his wife, leave to travel out of Nigeria for urgent medical treatment at Medanta Hospital, India.

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