News - January 22, 2021

My mother’s tested positive to COVID-19 twice in prison, El-Zakzaky son alleges

Says mother needs to be hospitalized immediately

The wife of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, Zeena, has contracted COVID-19 in prison at a correctional centre in Kaduna State, her son, Mohammed, alleged.
Reports on the latest COVID-19 status of the wife of the detained Islamic leader has gained traction in social media since the early hours of Friday.
The reports, MEDIATRACNET gathered, was based on a copy of Mrs El-Zakzaky’s COVID-19 test result in circulation since Wednesday, January 20, 2021, which revealed it was her second such experience with the dreaded disease.
Media reports quoted details from the test result with the caption, ‘Kaduna State Laboratory Test Report (DNA, ABU, X Pert)’, and stamped by the Kaduna State Ministry of Health.
The spokesperson of the Nigerian Correctional Service, Chuks Njoku, did not respond to calls to him by this newspaper on telephone on Friday to seek the agency’s reaction.
When contacted counsel to El Zakzaky, Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) did not deny the report. He however asked our reporter to call back latter.
Son confirms her mother’s COVID-19 status
But in a separate statement confirming the report, El-Zakzaky’s son, Mohammed, said his mother tested positive to coronavirus.
In a statement making the round on social media titled, ‘COVID-19 Hits Kaduna Prison, As My Mother Tested Positive’, Mohammed said his mother has also lost her sense of smell as a result of the disease.
In the statement, Mohammed narrated: “Six days ago after a routine visit to the Kaduna State prison by my parent’s doctors, my mother complained of fatigue, fever and a complete loss of the ability to smell. The doctors decided to carry out a number of standard tests in order to understand what the problem was.
“Among the tests that were carried out was a test for the novel coronavirus also known as COVID-19. This was a routine procedure and it is important to understand that she has been denied treatment for acute medical conditions, including severe arthritis of the knee for years now.
“The COVID-19 test came back positive… Once I heard of the result, my first act was to ensure that it was tried, tested and confirmed.
“I expected that following our risky entrance into the predictable petri-dish of Kaduna State prison for what it is, the person in charge of Kaduna State prison will officially do his job.
“And must inform the State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, and the chain of command that the current campaign of torture, extortion, corruption and murder has come to this and my mother, Zeenah Ibraheem, needs to be immediately hospitalised. This has not been done and so I have no choice but to scream the details out.”
Mohammed who confirmed the latest result was the second time the moth woud be testing positive of the disease, said despite the two positive results, his mother was not being treated in a standard hospital.
“I want to ask; why is my mother not in a hospital? Why are you doing this? We all know that COVID-19 requires an immediate response of urgent adherence to medical advice. Why are the rules being bent against her and him? By her I mean my mother Zeenah Ibraheem. By him I mean Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky,” Mohammed said.
Urging the government and Nigerians to save her mother’s life, Mohammed said proper medical attention should be given to the mother before it was too late.
Zeenah Ibraheem has been in solitary confinement along with her husband, El-Zakzaky since 2016 after the Nigerian Army took them away after raiding their home in Zaria in December 2015.
Despite several calls for their release, the government has refused, citing security risks of such action.

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