August 5, 2019 / 8:08 PM / 13 days ago

Nigeria to allow Shi'ite leader to seek medical treatment abroad

FILE PHOTO: A protester holds a banner calling for the release of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), in Abuja, Nigeria January 26, 2018. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde/File Photo

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigeria’s state security agency said on Monday that it is working to comply with a court order to allow a detained Shi’ite Muslim leader to seek medical treatment abroad.

A judge in the northwestern city of Kaduna ruled earlier on Monday that Ibrahim Zakzaky, the leader of the banned Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), and his wife could seek medical treatment abroad under the supervision of state officials.

Peter Afunanya, a spokesman with the Department of State Services (DSS), said the group had received the court order granting Zakzaky permission to travel to India for treatment.

“Consequently, the service is liaising with relevant stakeholders to ensure compliance,” Afunanya said.

Zakzaky has been held since 2015, despite a 2016 court ruling that said he should be released. [reut.rs/2GO3Us5]

The Nigerian government banned the group in July after a series of protests calling for Zakzaky’s release turned deadly. IMN said at least 20 of its members were killed in clashes with police. Police gave no death toll.

Reporting By Camillus Eboh in Abuja, writing by Libby George, editing by Ed Osmond

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