Tuesday, January 28, 2014

El-Rufai was detained by SSS


The State Security Service detained former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Malam Nasir el-Rufai yesterday at its headquarters in Abuja.

The SSS operatives detained el-Rufai, who is the interim Deputy Publicity Secretary of the opposition All Progressives Congress, when he reported at their office at about 9.20am in respect of the invitation he received for making "an inciting statement."

Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi, accompanied by Senator Chris Ngige, drove el- Rufai to the SSS office.

Amaechi said he was mandated by the leadership of the APC to accompany the ex-minister. Other party chieftains, including the APC national secretary, Mr. Tijani Tumsah, who also accompanied el-Rufai, were barred from entering the SSS premises.

One of the ex-minister's wives and his lawyer were also part of the entourage that went with him to the Maitama office of the secret police.

Amaechi spent about one hour inside the SSS premises before he left. Ngige, who spent about four hours, left the SSS premises around 3pm. An attempt to speak with him by journalists was aborted by SSS operatives who asked everyone to leave the area.

The SSS had invited el-Rufai to its office last Friday over a statement in which he said there would be violence during the 2015 elections.

But the former minister declined to honour the invitation, saying he had instituted a suit against the service for detaining him during the governorship election in Anambra State. He asked the agency to either meet him in his office or produce a Warrant of Arrest.

El-Rufai, in an interview with journalists moments before he entered the SSS office on Monday, explained that he did not honour the invitation earlier as there was no warrant, adding that the SSS had no power to compel him to come to its office because of the statement he made.

He said, "The SSS has provided the Warrant of Arrest and shown it to my lawyer on Friday and I said to my lawyer that we will come here this morning (Monday).

"It is all about politics, it is all about 2015, this is just an attempt to intimidate and silence opposition for crying out that elections are likely to be rigged; I will continue to speak and they will continue to arrest me until we get free and fair election in Nigeria.

"There is nothing I have said that history has not shown. I said elections should be free and fair; if they are not free and fair, there is likelihood of violence. This has happened in our history in 1964, 1983, 1993 and 2011, so what is strange about that. Anybody that doesn't know that is either not reading history or just ignoring history,"

The SSS according to PUNCH has released him.

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