The Iran and Nigeria are in talks over the prolonged detention of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.
This was revealed by the spokesperson for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, Seyyed Abbas Mousavi, during a summit of Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Equatorial Guinea.
El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeena, have been in the detention of the Department of State Services since 2015 despite court orders for their release.
Mousavi said, “In the recent meeting between Dr Nahavandian and President of Nigeria, Buhari, various subjects were mooted in the area of economic relations and regional and international developments, as well as the issue of Sheikh El-Zakzaky.
“Moreover, in the constant diplomatic meetings and contacts that we hold between Tehran and Abuja, negotiations about the Islamic Republic of Iran’s help in settling the problem is on the agenda, and we hope that the consultations and arrangements that are underway with the Nigerian Government would expedite the resolution of the problem.”
In 2016, the Federal High Court in Abuja ordered El-Zakzaky's unconditional release from jail following a trial, but the government has so far refused to set him free.
Also, daughter of the Muslim leader, Soheila, called for the immediate release of her father.
She spoke at a press conference in Tehran, capital of Iran.
She accused the Nigerian Government of unlawfully detaining her father under the pretext that he attempted to assassinate the army chief.
Soheila further referred to a court’s order in 2016 that El-Zakzaky and his wife be released and noted that the Nigerian Government had refused to carry out the court order over that past three years.
She said, “It is thus necessary to put more pressure on the Nigerian Government to release them unconditionally."