Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, says the Federal Government spends about N3.5m monthly to feed leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has been detained for over two years.
Mohammed is believed made this statement while addressing newsmen on Wednesday, the same day the Kaduna High Court denied El-Zakzaky and his wife bail.
The Minister who told Journalists that he was speaking off the record said, “The issue of whether, where he (Mr El-Zakzaky) is, at least let’s keep it off record, that he is in a residence and you know eating at the…
“It costs the government about N3.5 million every month to feed him.”
Mohammed was at this point interjected by minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who jokingly mocked the figures saying, “then you people need to take me in o, I can take N500,000 monthly to be held in prison by the government.”
The information and culture minister, who defended the figure he announced, said they might sound ridiculous, but they are facts.
El-Zakzaky has been detained since December 2015 after soldiers clamped down on his supporters killing at least 347 of them.
The army accused them of blocking the convoy of the army chief, Tukur Buratai in Kaduna.
The massacre has been condemned by local and international rights groups and is currently being investigated by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
El-Zakzaky was initially held for about two years alongside his wife, Zinat, without trial.
After a much public outcry, he was charged before a Kaduna court for alleged conspiracy and abating culpable homicide.
The Shite leader was on Wednesday denied bail by the court and asked to remain in Department of State Security (DSS) custody.