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El-Zakzaky’s wife contracts COVID-19, undergoing treatment in prison

Zeena Ibraheem, the wife of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has contracted COVID-19 at a correctional centre in Kaduna State.

A copy of her test result, which was sighted by our correspondent on Thursday, showed that she tested positive a second time on January 20, 2021.

The document, with the heading, ‘Kaduna State Laboratory Test Report (DNA, ABU, X Pert), was stamped by the Kaduna State Ministry of Health. 

However, it was learnt that she was being taken care of in prison instead of being transferred to an isolation centre.

Efforts to get a reaction from the Public Relations Officer, Nigerian Correctional Service, Chuks Njoku, proved abortive as he did not respond to repeated calls.

However, human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), confirmed that his client had indeed taken ill, saying , “It is true. She has tested positive.” 

In a separate message titled, ‘COVID-19 Hits Kaduna Prison, As My Mother Tested Positive,’ El-Zakzaky’s son, Mohammed, said his mother had also lost the ability to smell.

He said, “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.

“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.

 Mohammed said the deputy comptroller in charge of the prison, granted unrestricted access for all medical staff to deliver primary care to his mother.

He, however, stated that the medical team were harassed and forced throw all caution and care, or risk threats to their persons, their families and their personal Integrity.

 El-Zakzaky’s son said his mother was tested again to ensure that she was actually positive.

He 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.

In a desperate plea, Mohammed begged Nigerians to “Save my mother who is currently infected with COVID-19.”

 El-Zakzaky and his wife have been in detention for over five years.

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