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DSS arrests Senator Abaribe, conducts search on his residence

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Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe

• PDP, Ohanaeze Condemn Arrest, Demand His Release
The Senator representing Abia South senatorial district, Enyinnaya Abaribe, was reportedly arrested yesterday by DSS personnel at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, where he went to attend a function. A source close to the senator revealed to The Guardian yesterday that the security personnel took him to his Abuja residence to conduct a search alongside his lawyers.

It was not clear why the vocal lawmaker was arrested, but Abaribe has been very critical of President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration’s policies in recent times.

It would be recalled that on June 7, Abaribe had asked Buhari to declare December 31 as Democracy Destruction Day to mark the coup he led to end Nigeria’s Second Republic in 1983. Abaribe stated this on the floor of the Senate, while contributing to debate on the President’s declaration of June 12 as Decmocracy Day.

Reacting to the arrest, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed fears over the safety of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, (PDP Abia), who was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS).

The party lamented that the Gestapo-style arrest of Abaribe has further confirmed the earlier alarm that the APC-led federal government has commenced a total clampdown on the opposition and perceived opponents of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 re-election bid.

The party alleged that the clampdown on Senator Abaribe might be in furtherance of the moves to intimidate and emasculate members of the National Assembly who are known for their outspokenness against the constitutional violations and misrule of the APC administration.

The PDP noted that “the federal government has given no reasons for the arrest and detention of Senator Abaribe, who has been kept incommunicado without access to his lawyers and associates.

The party also noted the apprehension of Nigerians following numerous alleged plots by the Federal Government to frame up other lawmakers, including Senate President Bukola Saraki, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremmadu, as well as Senators Dino Melaye and Shehu Sani.

In the same vein, apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has demanded the immediate release of the senator. In a statement issued yesterday, President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, said it is only the security agencies that should provide Nnamdi Kanu and not Abaribe.

The statement said: “The circumstances prevailing at the time of the disappearance of Nnamdi Kanu are beyond the contemplation of the law that a surety can guarantee the production of an accused person.

“The army in the name of “Operation Python Dance” invaded Nnamdi’s home and destabilised normalcy there.

“It is only the security agencies that can disclose Nnamdi’s whereabouts. Senator Abaribe has no capacity, nor has any surety in the circumstances to know the whereabouts of Nnamdi Kanu. What happened in Umahia was an invasion, a war of a kind.

“Nnamdi may have been killed or captured in the imbroglio or even escaped into hiding. The onus lies on the security forces to disclose his where about. The judiciary is beginning to tow the line of the executive by throwing the law overboard in matters that affect the South East. We are all equal before the law. Senator Abaribe must be released forthwith.”


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