Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has disclosed that the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, cannot be released because he is a suspect standing trial for multiple murders and other criminal offenses.
Speaking on Thursday in Kaduna when he played host to the management team of The Sun, the governor said that El-Zakzaky was not being held illegally as widely reported.
Although there was an order by a Federal High Court in 2016 that he be released, El-Rufai said the order had no bearing on El-Zakzaky’s current case.
He said the state government took time to investigate the Shi’ite leader and discovered that his activities for more than 20 years had caused several killings.
Speaking on the alleged daily expenses of about N3.5 million on El-Zakzaky, the governor said the money was not on the feeding of the Shi’ite leader but on everything related to his protective custody.
El-Rufai said: “The N3.5 million monthly feeding on El-Zakzaky is not only about his food, but other expenses on security men attached to him.
“The security men are permanently stationed with him, they surrounded where he is kept.
“He is in custody because he is facing murder charge which is not bailable, among other charges.
“As a government, we decided to proscribe Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) of which El-Zakzaky is the president because it is not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
“So, any procession in the name of IMN is illegal, as far as Kaduna State government is concerned.”