The Ethiopian Airlines plane believed to be carrying leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, back to Nigeria, has landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Journalists could however not get to the Sheikh as he was whisked away through the VIP section, presidential wing of the airport.
Just three days after arriving in India for medical treatment following a court order, El-Zakzaky discharged himself from the hospital the Federal Government took him to, saying the government was interfereing with and scuttling his treatment process.
The federal government has denied the allegation, stating that El-Zakzaky was the one making unreasonable demands that were outside the conditions under which the Kaduna High Court granted him permission to travel.
Ibrahim Musa, spokesman of the IMN, said on Thursday, just after El-Zakzaky boarded the plane back to Abuja: “Following lack of a breakthrough in the impasse that ensued in the treatment in New Delhi of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, it is now confirmed that the Sheikh is on his way back to Abuja.
“In a video message sent through his office, the Sheikh said it was decided that they will be taken to the airport to be flown back to Nigeria.
“He has left Delhi by 17:00 Nigerian time. He said that may be the best option in the circumstances.
“The Nigerian government’s interference and scuttling of the whole process, rather than supervision as ordered by the court, is the direct cause of the impasse.
“The government never wanted the medical leave in the first place, and did whatever to stop it by all means possible.”
The IMN leader had earlier raised the alarm over the situation in India, saying it was worse than what he and his wife experienced in Nigeria.
In an audio tape that went viral on Wednesday, he had said he was being re-detained under heavy security, and expressed the desire to return home.
El-Zakzaky said he was not given access to his preferred doctors, adding that he did not trust those they asked to examine him.
But the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information, Grace Gekpe, had in a statement on Wednesday, said the IMN leader demanded to have his passport and also wanted free movement.
She added that El-Zakzaky wanted to receive visitors and also made a request to be checked into a five-star hotel, adding that he behaved so badly that the Indian authorities were willing to return him to Nigeria.