SSS raids el-Rufai’s house

For ignoring an invitation to appear in its office, men of the Department of State Security yesterday morning visited the Abuja residence of the former minister of the Federal Capital Teritory, Malam Nasir el-Rufai with a view to arresting him.

However, sources said the security agents left the ex-minister’s house at about at about 2pm without arresting him.

The DSS had on Thursday invited el-Rufai, who is also the Deputy National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress to appear at its headquarters yesterday to clarify a statement attributed to him in which he allegedly said, “the next election are likely to be violent and many people are likely going to die.”

However, there are conflicting reports on why the DSS failed to arrest the ex-minister. One account had it that the security agents took position at the entrance of the home of the ex-minister for several hours but left when they could not locate him. Another account had it that el-Rufai’s security men refused to allow the DSS men into the compound and that they eventually left in frustration.

In a swift reaction to the attempt to arrest him, el-Rufai condemned the raid and said he ignored the SSS’s invitation because it was not backed by a valid warrant.

The press statement by the ex-minister’s media aide said he (el-Rufai) had on Thursday “firmly told the SSS DG that he would be exercising his right not to go to the SSS offices, except a warrant mandates it.”

The statement continued: “He (el-Rufai) however offered to meet the SSS officials in his home or office. The armed invasion of his house is a clear indication that the SSS imagines itself as an agency immune from respecting fundamental rights, behaviour akin to a gathering of toughs before whom every citizen must quake. The SSS agents did not produce any warrant to back their invasion of his premises.”

Speaking yesterday evening, the DSS spokesperson, Ms. Marilyn Ogar, accused El-Rufai of hiding, but promised to arrest him.
She said: “Let me promise you one thing, we will arrest him. He can’t continue to incite members of the public, causing trouble, and expect to go scot free. No Nigerian, no individual is greater that the country.

“We are not puppet and nobody can reduce us to one. Mallam El-Rufai must be made to answer for his provocative and inflammatory statement. I say it again; no Nigerian is above the law. He will surely be arrested.”