N3.5m Feeding: Stop stealing public funds in Zakzaky’s name, Shi’ites warn

*Say: Their leader complained about poor feeding *Detained leader catering for himself in prison *”Govt should stop lying to the world”

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, yesterday, raised the alarm that the upkeep of its incarcerated leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky is being used as an avenue to loot public funds.

Apparently irked by reports suggesting that the Federal Government spends N3.5m monthly on the feeding of Zakzaky, the group, also known as Shi’ite, said its leader is responsible for his domestic needs in detention

It specifically dismissed the claim on the feeding expenses, saying Zakzaky complained about poor feeding when some members of the religious group visited him last month in Kaduna.

While the group did not disagree that the government may have budgeted N3.5m for Zakzaky’s monthly upkeep, it said the report about the expenses suggested that some officials may have been looting public funds under the guise of keeping Zakzaky in protective custody

Adequate care President of the group, Ibrahim Musa, who said these in a statement yesterday, said there was nothing on the ground to prove that the government was taking adequate care of Zakzaky, who has been in detention since December 2015. Saturday Vanguard recalls that he was arrested after a bloody clash which occurred in Zaria between IMN members and the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai.

Gen Burutai had accused the sect members of making an attempt on his life, while on their way to Kaduna for the annual Ashura Day.

His incarceration despite an order for his release by an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court in December 2016 was faulted by the IMN.

The group’s statement reads: “The Islamic Movement in Nigeria believes that this is part of the grand deception of this administration to present a human face after it slaughtered more than 1000 defenceless civilians in Zaria in December 2015.

“Let us also note that, El-Zakzaky’s, three sons who were also in his residence were among those murdered in cold blood in his presence and buried in mass graves. The atrocity didn’t just stop at that. His residence was completely razed and later flattened.

“This same government had also told the world through the Federal High Court in Abuja that the Sheikh didn’t do anything wrong, but they shot him and his wife. They claimed all the atrocities were only to protect him. The Court was not convinced and ordered that he should be set free. The government refused.

Lying to the world

“Now they are lying to the world that they are good to him. “Moreover, when some members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria met the Sheikh early last month, among the things he complained of is the poor feeding he is facing since his transfer to Kaduna six months ago.

“Considering his age and failing health he deserves a special feeding arrangement, but those holding him have denied him that.

-“This clearly shows that some security officers are looting public funds under the guise of keeping the Sheikh in ‘protective custody’ which a Federal High Court in Abuja has since declared illegal under the constitution.

“Also the claim clearly exposes the corruption in the government. This figure could be true in their records, but they actually use that to loot public funds in the name of feeding the Sheikh, while in reality the Sheikh is the one catering for himself and buying all his domestic needs.

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