The Department of State Services (DSS), has reportedly spent no less than N164.5 million to feed the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been in its custody for almost for years.
KanyiDaily had reported that El-Zakzaky was arrested by the DSS on December 12, 2015 and has since remained in custody until December 2019 when Justice Gideon Kurada of a Kaduna State High Court ordered the agency to transfer the IMN leader and his wife, Zeenat, to the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Kaduna.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had revealed in November 2018 that the Federal Government spent a total of N3.5m to feed the Shiite leader monthly.
Punch reports that since El-Zakzaky has been in DSS custody, the accrued cost of feeding the Shiite leader amounts to N164.5 million in 47 months.
Reacting to the accrued food cost, human rights lawyer and Zakzaky’s counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), lamented that the cost may continue to rise since he is in prison and is therefore still being taken care of with taxpayers’ money.
Falana stressed that El-Zakzaky was granted bail many times, but the court orders were ignored by the federal government until the Kaduna State government decided to charge the IMN leader to court.
“El-Zakzaky is now in prison but he is still being taken care of by the federal government with tax payers’ money,” Falana was quoted as saying.
KanyiDaily recalls that El-Zakzaky was arrested after soldiers clamped down on his supporters, killing at least 347 of them. The army accused them of blocking a public road being used then by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
He was detained without trial for several months, causing his lawyer, Falana, to file a suit before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Since his arrest, El-Zakzaky’s followers have been protesting his detention in several parts of the country some of which have led to bloodshed.