Written by Buchi Obichie
– Nigeria has been asked by Iran, to release embattled Shiites leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, to enable him travel to that country for medical treatment
– The Islamic country urged the Nigerian govt to take steps in line with their judicial independence and support for a captive citizen, and transfer the cleric to it
– El-Zakzaky was arrested and detained three years ago, following a bloody confrontation between the IMN and a convoy of the chief of Army staff
Nigeria has been asked by the Islamic Republic of Iran to release the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, to enable him travel to that country for medical treatment.
According to ABNA, Nigerian authorities received the request in a letter written by the Iranian prosecutor-general, Mohammed Montazeri on Saturday, July 20.
We gathers that the letter read: “I, as the prosecutor general of the Islamic Republic of Iran, urge the Nigerian judicial authorities (to take steps) in line with their judicial independence and support for a captive citizen, and provide the ground for his release and transfer him to the Islamic Republic of Iran for treatment.”
Iran further expressed worry over the embattled cleric’s health and the manner in which the Nigerian government had handled his case. The country is said to be a strong base of Shiite Muslims, and is reportedly sympathetic to the IMN.
The group has, however, been a source of apprehension for some members of the public and its policy of trekking long distances on major highways, thereby impeding vehicular movement, often leads to confrontation with law enforcement agencies.
El-Zakzaky had finally been arrested and detained three years ago, following a bloody confrontation between the group and a convoy of the chief of Army staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna state.
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Meanwhile, it was previously reported that an aide to President Muhammadu Buhari on social media, Lauretta Onochie, alleged that the Islamic Movement in Nigeria was receiving funding from Iran.
Onochie’s allegation followed the violent protest by the group which claimed the lives of a deputy commissioner of police in charge of operations at the Federal Capital Territory, Usman Umar, a Channels TV reporter, Precious Owolabi, and some others allegedly identified as Shiite members.