In readiness for Suleiman, the DSS, yesterday morning, deployed a massive security wall around the premises of its national headquarters. Suleiman had told his supporters at a religious crusade in Ekiti State, last week, to defend themselves if they were attacked by herdsmen.
The DSS officially invited Suleiman to appear before it, yesterday, for interrogation after their operatives’ initial plan to arrest him in Ekiti was foiled by the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose.
Dressed in black suit, Apostle Suleiman, who said his invitation was in order, arrived the DSS headquarters accompanied by 30 lawyers and Christian leaders. Indeed, the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, yesterday, said it was behind Suleiman, who was accompanied by a delegation led by the National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, Rev. Felix Omobude.
On arrival, it was gathered that the large entourage was told that the appointment which was earlier meant for 10 a.m., had been rescheduled for 4p.m. When the entourage returned for the 4 p.m appointment, they were further told to come at 7p.m., by the DSS operatives, who did not expect such a large contingent.
Sensing the unwillingness of the Christian leaders to leave Apostle Suleiman to carry his cross, DSS operatives, according to a close source, began to plead with the clergymen to return to their hotel rooms, arguing that Suleiman would be fine.
At press time, last night, Suleiman had returned to the DSS and was being interrogated. It was not clear whether he was followed to the venue by any of his followers when he returned the third time.
There was heavy presence of policemen and the DSS personnel with Amoured Personnel Carrier around the headquarters.
The DSS deployed a large number of its personnel to strategic areas surrounding the headquarters to prevent the possible protest by supporters of the pastor. DSS operatives took over the Fountain Garden opposite the Transcorp Hilton, the Federal Secretariat and in front of the Yellow House national headquarters of the service.
Journalists, who had laid siege to the DSS headquarters were politely told to leave the area.
Speaking to newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, Apostle Suleiman said his invitation by the DSS was in order, but insisted he stands by his statement. “I presume the right thing was done.
They have been in touch with me to come and that is why I am in Abuja, so that I can see them,” he said,. He added that the statement for which the security agency invited him was based on information from a reliable source that herdsmen were coming to attack him.
He said he stood by his statement on self-defence. “I was talking in my personal capacity on information from a reliable source that certain people in the capacity of herdsmen were coming to attack me and I told the people around me that if it happens they should defend themselves.’’