The detained leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, is alive but seriously ill, his lawyer has said.
The lawyer, Femi Falana, was responding to rumours of Mr. El-Zakzaky’s death, more than two years after he was detained by the Nigerian government.
Rumours of the death of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria spread on the social media on Friday, hours after the latest rounds of protests by his followers, demanding his release, held in Abuja.
Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife have been detained without trial since December 2015.
They sustained gunshot wounds during their arrests, his lawyer said.
Mr. Falana said the bullet in Mr. El-Zakzaky’s wife’s body is yet to be removed.
“Clinically he (El-Zakzaky) is not dead yet. But he is very very sick,” Mr. Falana said.
“He has lost an eye, he is in the process of losing the other one. He has developed stroke in detention.
“Bullets in the wife’s body have not been removed since 2015,” he added.
He accused the government of violating the fundamental rights of the detainees.
“Regulation 12 of the Prisons Act that law has been there since 1917; even convicts can be handed over to their families for treatment when the state can no longer provide such,” he said.
A Federal High Court in Abuja in December 2016 ordered the release of Mr. Zakzaky and his wife. The government refused to obey the order.
Members of the IMN group have been staging series of processions across the northern states demanding the release of their leader and his wife.
Meanwhile, a security source quoted by PRNigeria, a platform that circulates statements from security agencies, claimed on Friday that Mr. El-Zakzaky was “alive and stable”.
“As I am speaking to you now Sheikh ElZakzaky and his wife are alive and stable.
“They observe their regular prayers and are in stable condition.
Since the arrest and detention of the Islamic Movement’s leader, his followers had organised series of peaceful protests in some cities in the country calling for his release.
Nigerian forces yesterday attacked peaceful protesters in different cities such as Abuja and Kaduna and arrest over 60 people. The security forces attacked protesters with tear gas and live bullets which 3 persons killed and tens injured.
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria on Wednesday 10th January, 2018 addressed a Press Conference on the health situation of Sheikh Zakzaky, who is being illegally detained despite a valid court judgement declaring his continued detention as unconstitutional and a breach of his rights. The conference addressed by Prof Abdullahi Danladi of the Resource Forum, also talked of the recent spates of the renewed campaign to secure freedom for the ailing Sheikh to enable him obtain treatment where appropriate.
It also condemns the police brutality that followed the renewed wave of the free Zakzaky protests, that led to the death of at least two people and wounding several others as well as the arrest of hundreds of others especially in Kaduna and Abuja.