Thursday, 5 July 2018

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe Narrates His Ordeal In The Hands Of DSS

Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South) has briefed the Senate about his arrest and detention by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Abaribe, who came under order 43 of the Senate standing rules (personal explanation), said the briefing became necessary following concerns expressed by his colleagues and Nigerians.

The lawmaker was arrested by on June 22 at the gate of the Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.

He told the senate that he was received at the DSS facility by a former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, who was arrested three days before.

Abaribe reiterated that he cannot be intimidated from speaking the truth.

He said: “I have been inundated by Nigerians and my colleagues who were worried about my arrest. So today Mr. President, I crave your indulgence and those of my colleagues to state that on June 22, I was arrested at the gate of the Hilton hotel while the International Press Institute Congress was on.

“I was taken to the office of the DSS at 11.30am and by 5pm, I was taken home for a search of my house.

“When we got to my house, I was formally told the reason for my arrest. The search warrant said I’m being accused of sponsoring a proscribed organisation, IPOB, and that the search was to look for evidence of such.

“After the search, which took about five to six hours, I was taken to the office of DSS about 12 midnight and kept there. The first person who received me and helped my transition from freedom to incarceration was the former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam.

“He had been arrested on the Tuesday preceding my arrest. As at when I was released last Tuesday, he had not been told why he was arrested.

“Mr. President, I have been released following the intervention of well-meaning Nigerians led by you and the leadership of the senate. I’m glad and grateful.

“I use this opportunity to thank Nigerians who were concerned and so did everything to secure my release.”

Senate President Bukola Saraki said they were happy with Abaribe’s release. He urged him to regard his arrest and detention as a sacrifice for the growth of democracy in the country.

He said: “We are happy to see you back. It was an unfortunate situation but we hope that things will be restored soon. It is one of these sacrifices we all have to make in deepening our democracy.”

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