The two were arrested in Kaduna in 2015 after soldiers killed over 300 members of the IMN for allegedly throwing stones at the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, an act declared by the Army to be an assassination attempt.
Corporal Yakubu Dankaduna, a soldier, was allegedly killed by IMN members when he alighted from Buratai’s convoy to disperse the group’s procession during the confrontation.
The government ignored a December 2016 ruling of a Federal High Court to release them.
In May 2018, El-Zakzaky and Zinat were eventually arraigned before the Kaduna High Court and charged with unlawful gathering, criminal conspiracy and culpable homicide, and denied bail by the court months later in November.
In a fresh application filed on July 18, the defendants asked to be allowed to travel to India for medical attention due to their failing health conditions.
The defendants’ counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), said not less than eight medical reports from local and foreign doctors agree that they require urgent medical attention “which is not locally available”.
During the court’s ruling on the Monday, August 5, Justice Darius Khobo asked the government to release the defendants to seek medical treatment in India.