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Video: India is a prison, in Nigeria I was in house fully furnished with large bedrooms and I was free – El-Zakzaky

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Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria [IMN], has said that he had greater freedom while in custody in Nigeria than in Medenta Hospital, New Delhi, India, where he went for treatment last Monday.

He explained 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.

The cleric in a video alleged that the Federal Government made it difficult for him to get the needed treatment at the hospital, noting that he was treated like a prisoner in the Asian country.

In the video, the Shi’ite leader could be seen narrating his experience to an unidentified Indian official.

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

He said,

“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.

“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.”

The cleric added,

“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.”

El-Zakyzaky further told his guest he made the Indian trip at his own expense but wondered why the Nigerian government was frustrating his mission.

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

“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.

Meanwhile, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria has said it will explore foreign medical treatment for its leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, despite the failed plan to treat him at the Medenta Hospital in India.

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The sect explained that it would approach Malaysia, Indonesia or Turkey for the treatment of the cleric, who was taken to a facility in Kaduna by the Department of State Services shortly after his arrival from India on Friday.

The President, Media Forum of IMN, Ibrahim Musa, informed our correspondent in Abuja on Saturday, that the IMN would not give up on its determination to ensure that El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, had access to good medical care.

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He stated,

“After his arrival from India, Sheikh was taken to Kaduna where family members usually have access to him. Our plan is to go to the court and also at the same time negotiate the next country for treatment. The plan still remains to take him to Malaysia, Indonesia or Turkey, either of the three.”

Asked about the allegations by the Federal Government that the Shi’ite leader wanted to seek political asylum in India, Musa declined to comment, saying the issue was being discussed, adding that he would issue a statement on the claim.

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Musa had earlier blamed the FG for the failure of the cleric to undergo treatment in India.

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UNIBEN delegation visits family of slain student

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The Management of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), on Monday, visited the family of Late Miss Vera Omozuwa’s family to commiserate with them on the death of their daughter.

The Management led by the Dean of Students Affairs, Prof. Patrick Igbinaduwa, described the murder of the institution’s 100 level student as unfortunate and evil.

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In a statement issued in Benin, Prof. Igbinaduwa called on relevant authorities to step in and fish out the perpetrators of the evil act.

“The delegation conveyed the condolence message of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Lilian Salami, and her strong condemnation of the evil acts of rape and murder perpetrated against the late student.

“She had begun to show a lot of promise in her educational pursuit,” Igbinaduwa said.

According to reports, it was recalled that Omozuwa, a 23-year-old student of UNIBEN was raped by a gang of unknown men on May 27 and died a few days later in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital.

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COVID-19: PTF lifts ban on religious gathering, shortens curfew

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Mr. Boss Mustapha, the chairman, Presidential Task Force (PTF), on COVID-19, has said that the ban on religious gathering has been lifted based on guidelines and protocols agreed with state governments.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said this at the PTF on COVID-19 daily briefing on Monday in Abuja.

This is as the curfew from the current 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. had been shortened from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m., starting from Tuesday.

According to Mustapha, the relaxation of the restriction on places of worship is based on guidelines issued by the PTF and Protocols agreed by State Governments.

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He, however, said bars, gyms, and nightclubs would remain closed.

“After considering all factors mentioned above, the PTF submitted its recommendations and the President has approved them for implementation over the next four weeks, spanning June 2, to June 29, subject to review,” he said.

He said that there would be an application of science and data to guide the targeting of areas of high transmission of COVID-19 in the country.

He noted the mobilization of resources at State and Local Government levels to create public awareness on COVID-19 and improve compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions within communities.

According to him, sustenance of key non-pharmaceutical interventions will apply nationwide and includes a ban on gatherings of more than 20 people outside of the workplace.

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Mustapha said the protocols include managing access to markets and locations of economic activity to limit the risk of transmission, Ban on inter-state travels except for the movement of agricultural produce, petroleum products, manufactured goods, and essential services.

Others are “mandatory use of non-medical face masks in public places; mandatory provision of handwashing facilities/sanitizers in all public places and extensive temperature checks in public places”.

He added maintaining two meters between people in public places.

In his speech, the National Coordinator of PTF, Dr. Sanni Alihu, said that the aviation sector would be asked to prepare for the possible resumption of domestic flights from June 21.

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Aliyu added that a national curfew would be shortened to 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. from Tuesday, from the current 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. order.

He explained that the nation’s financial sector would also be able to resume normal working hours.

The National Coordinator stated that other curbs remained in place, such as a ban on interstate travel, with a few exceptions, such as for essential workers.

He added that face masks must still be worn in public.

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I-G deploys investigation aids to unravel death of UNIBEN female student

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The Inspector-General of Police (I-G), Mr. Mohammed Adamu, has deployed additional investigation aids and forensic support to unravel the circumstances surrounding the death of Miss Vera Omosuwa, a University of Benin (UNIBEN) student.

The Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), DCP Frank Mba, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

He said the deployment of the investigation aids and forensic support to the Police Command in Edo, was to complement and expedite actions in the ongoing investigations into the unfortunate incident.

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Mba said it was part of deliberate and concerted efforts by the Nigerian police high command to get to the root of the brutal attack and unfortunate death of the student on May 30.

The FPRO said the I-G had condemned the attack and commiserated with the family, friends, and colleagues of the deceased.

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He called for calm and pledged to bring the perpetrators of the callous act to book in the shortest possible time.

According to reports, it was recalled that Omosuwa, a 100-level Microbiology student of the university, was reportedly killed in a church in Benin by hoodlums, after raping her.

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