Exclusive: Medical Reports Show Zakzaky’s Wife Contracted COVID-19

The Nigerian Correctional Service had earlier denied having any inmate who had tested positive

Medical reports exclusively obtained by HumAngle have confirmed that Zeenah Ibrahim, the detained wife of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) leader Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, contracted COVID-19 while at the correctional centre. 

The Kaduna State Command of Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) had earlier denied that Zeenah contracted the infectious disease as claimed by the IMN. 

IMN complained, on Friday, that her old age and fragile health condition could worsen the infection as she “has not been taken to any specialised hospital for such patients to receive proper medical care.” 

In a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the NCoS, Kaduna Command, ASCI AD WADAI, the command said there was no such incident at its facilities as inmates were highly protected from contracting the virus. 

According to the Controller of the NCoS, Kaduna Command, Ibrahim Maradun, Zeenah was tested by the officials of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on Wednesday, Jan. 20 but the result was not yet out. 

“As far as I am concerned the NCDC officials took her sample on Wednesday around 5 pm and I am yet to receive the result,” he said. 

However, one of the medical reports issued by the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, on Jan. 16 indicated that she tested positive for COVID-19.

The other report issued by the Ministry of Health, Kaduna State, dated Jan. 20 also showed that she has contracted the virus. 

A close relative of Zeenah Ibrahim told HumAngle that he was around when doctors took her sample and the NCoS, Kaduna Command, was aware of the result.

He said they did not plan to expose the NCoS but the denial of the command necessitated their action. 

Zeenah and her husband were arrested in 2015 following a confrontation between IMN’s members and the Nigerian Army that led to the extrajudicial killing of over 300 civilians.

They have since been in detention despite a court order in 2016 granting them bail and ordering the Department of State Services (DSS) to pay a fine of N50 million. 

Their unlawful detention has been challenged by IMN members who have repeatedly taken to the streets in protest for years despite resistance from the police and military. Several of them were killed and injured in the process. 

The couple’s next court hearing, according to the IMN, is on Monday, Jan. 25.

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Aliyu Dahiru

Aliyu is an Assistant Editor at HumAngle and Head of the Radicalism and Extremism Desk. He has years of experience researching misinformation and influence operations. He is passionate about analysing jihadism in Africa and has published several articles on the topic. His work has been featured in various local and international publications.

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