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‘I was kept in a big house, well furnished’, El-Zakzaky describes his detention facility


The leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has described his detention facility in Abuja as a well furnished big house where he enjoyed considerable freedom.

The Shi’ite leader made the description in a video where he is seen speaking with an unidentified Indian official.

According to El-Zakzaky, he enjoyed more freedom while in custody in Nigeria than in Medenta Hospital, New Delhi, India, where he went for treatment last Monday.

This is, however, contrary to popular belief that the Shi’ite leader was being kept in horrible circumstances that has gravely affected his health and that of his wife, Zeenat.

The healthy looking El-Zakzaky also explained to his guest that he was detained at a well furnished house located beside the Senate President’s residence, adding that he was also free to move around.

He said he enjoyed some level of freedom in Nigeria unlike in India where he was in ”prison”.

“I have been about four years in prison now; a house fully furnished. In fact, our next neighbour was the Senate President; a large house. I was free to move about,” he said.

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“Similarly, when they moved me to Kaduna I was in the best area – government reserved area. It is a house fully furnished with large bedrooms and I was free. I have never been in detention with police there; in fact, the soldiers used to stay outside at the gate. That is what they have been doing. When we came here, we were put in prison.

“I will definitely prefer another hospital. I was told that some Shi’ite Ulama came and said I should be allowed to be treated in India.”

Continuing, El-Zakzaky said he made the Indian trip at his own expense, and wondered why the Nigerian government was frustrating his mission.

”They said I am the one to take myself to hospital, not the government. We bought our own tickets, the government people with us bought their own.

“Somehow, when we came here, we learnt the embassy changed the story. We learnt the Nigerian government told them they are bringing in two patients charged with a criminal offence, and they also solicited the support of the Indian government for the security of these people; they also spoke with the hospital about what to do. And they claim they are the ones bringing us,” he explained.

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Timothy Enietan-Matthews

Timothy is a versatile journalist, down to earth with a critical and curious mind.

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