The State Security Service (SSS) has yet to let go of Interim Deputy National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, who this morning surrendered himself at its headquarters in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, after a three-day stand-off.
The last communication of the former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister with the outside world took place this morning when he tweeted: “Inside SSS HQ, they are now saying that Governor Amaechi and. Senator Ngige will not allowed into the building after working 500m…impunity.”
He had earlier tweeted thrice in quick succession: “On the way to SSS HQ with Governor Rotimi Amaechi, APC National Secretary, Treasurer, Hubert Shaiyen and other party leaders and AU Mustapha.”
“All we demanded was a warrant as required by law. They have shown one to my lawyer over the weekend. We will report & hear them out.”
“We are resisting lawlessness & impunity. Gov. Amaechi suffers this in Rivers. I am honored that Amaechi & APC are supportive of that stand!”
Reflecting on his own experience in the hands of the SSS, News Express Publisher Isaac Umunna said this afternoon: “I won’t be surprised if they employ delay tactics to keep him until it is night – that is, if they will release him today. Their style is to keep you waiting for several hours, after which they advise those accompanying you to leave at the official close of work.”
On the inability of el-Rufai, who usually tweets virtually round the clock, to send out any message since morning, Umunna, who had in the past been detained at the Yellow House as well as at the Shangisha Lagos Office of the Nigerian secret police in connection with his journalism work, said: “Once you enter the SSS premises and register your name, they make sure you become incommunicado; you are made to put off all phones and electronic devices and hand them over to the people at the Gate House before you are made to go to the Reception and wait until those to interrogate you are ready to receive you.”
News Express reports that El-Rufai had been invited last Thursday by SSS in connection with a newspaper interview in which he predicted bloody general elections next year but he insisted that he would not honour the invitation except the SSS obtained a court warrant. He thereafter disappeared from his Maitama home in the Nigerian capital and could not be traced by SSS operatives who stormed the place on Friday. El-Rufai was also not in his second Abuja house at Imani Estate when the SSS operatives went there to look for him.