COVID-19: Court orders evacuation of El-Zakzaky’s Wife to treatment centre over positive status
A Kaduna State High court presided over by Justice Gideon Kurada has ordered the Nigerian Correctional Service to evacuate the wife of the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Zeenat El-Zakzaky to an isolation centre to enable her to undergo treatment for COVID-19.
Mrs El-Zakzaky reportedly contracted the virus inside the Nigerian Correctional Centre in Kaduna state capital last week.
Zeenat tested positive for COVID-19 a second time on January 20, 2021, but the management of the Correctional Centre denied the report.
The denial was contained in a statement signed by the spokesman of the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Kaduna State Command, Daniel Wadai, who insisted that there is no report of any COVID-19 infection in any of their facilities as all inmates are safe and well-protected.
“The attention of the Kaduna State Command of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) has been drawn to a news item being circulated by some mischief makers alleging that an inmate in one of the custodial centres in the state has contracted COVID-19,” the statement said.
At the resumed trial of the defendants who are facing an eight-count charge of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly among others, their counsel, Femi Falana on Monday told the court that Mrs El-Zakzaky has tested positive for COVID-19, and also presented a medical report to back up his claim.
Falana said his team presented the results of the test before the court and applied that Zeenat, the second defendant in the trial who tested positive to the virus more than one week, be availed with proper medical facility to get treatment.
Falana said the Medical facility at the Kaduna correctional centre does not the needed facilities to treat the virus.
“Today at the resumed trial of the client case, the prosecution brought four witnesses including a medical doctor who testified before the court.
“But we also applied to the court, we drew the attention of the court on behalf of our clients to the fact that the wife of our client Zeenat had tested positive to the dangerous Covid-19 pandemic and she is being treated in the medical center of the correctional facility.
Also, Mr Chris Umar, the state Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary, ministry of Justice said the prosecution did not object to the application.
He said the prosecution presented four witnesses, bringing the number of witnesses who testified before the court to eight.
“We have more witnesses,” he said.
He, however, appealed to the court to allow his client to seek proper medical treatment outside the Correctional Centre in line with the protocols that have been outlined by the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control
The appeal was supported by the prosecuting counsel and the Solicitor general of Kaduna state, Chris Umar.
In his ruling on the appeal, Justice Kurada ordered that Mrs Elzakzaky should be moved to a government-approved isolation and treatment centre.
Meanwhile, four witnesses were presented by the prosecuting counsel before the court at the resumed sitting on Monday, while more witnesses including a serving General officer Commanding of the Nigerian Army in the North East are also expected to testify before the court tomorrow.