Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

Lai Mohammed’s claim that the federal government spends about N3.5 million on a monthly basis to feed the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, also known as Shiites, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, is insulting, the body said on Friday.

Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, had made the comment, which was widely condemned by many Nigerians, on Wednesday after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting.

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And in its reaction, the Shiite group said the minister made mockery of its leader.

”We advise the Minister to desist from involving the Sheikh in his unfortunate lies and for once tell Nigerians the actual truth that the government does not spend such amount on Sheikh Zakzaky,” spokesman for the group Ibrahim Musa said in a statement.

He also said: “This clearly shows that some security officers are looting public funds under the guise of keeping the Sheikh under ‘protective custody’ which a federal high court in Abuja has since declared illegal under the constitution.”

“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 the wife and all the atrocities were only to protect him. The Court was not convinced and so ordered that he should be set free. The government reneged.”

Zakzaky has been in detention since December 2015 when his followers clashed with troops of the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna state.

He is facing trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of public peace.