SSS secures warrant of arrest for El-Rufai as APC, Fani-Kayode condemn harassment of former minister

Nasir El-Rufai
Nasir El-Rufai

The State Security Service, SSS, has finally secured a warrant of arrest for the Deputy National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Nasir El-Rufai, and has now launched a manhunt for him, the spokesperson for the agency has said.

This is even as armed operatives of the Service again stormed a second house in Abuja believed to belong to the former minister in their desperate bid to arrest him.

They had earlier in the afternoon invaded his first house in the Maitama District of the nation’s capital, but could not find him as he had reportedly gone to pick his children from school. They were said to have tried to force their way in to arrest the former minister.

In the latest siege on another property, also in the Maitama District, the operatives were said to have beaten up some private guards for refusing them entry.

The spokesperson of the SSS, Marylyn Ogar, confirmed that the operatives visited Mr. El-Rufai’s second house to arrest him, but denied that anyone was beaten.

“I hate cheap blackmail,” Ms. Ogar told PREMIUM TIMES on telephone. “We went to the first place, nobody was beaten up. How will we go to the second place and beat people up?”

She explained that the SSS got an arrest warrant demanded by Mr. El-Rufai, but could not find him to personally serve him the document.

“We extended a friendly invitation to him,” the SSS spokesperson said. “He was invited honourably to come and make some explanations about the comments attributed to him.

“He said he wanted an arrest warrant. We have now obtained that from a competent court and we are wondering why he is running.

“We want to serve it on him. Or is there any Nigerian that is above the law?

“The president has said his ambition is not worth any Nigerian’s blood. So why will anyone else be making provocative statements?”

The manhunt for the former minister followed his refusal to honour an invitation from the SSS on Thursday.

He cited his pending suit against the Service over his detention in a hotel in Awka during the Anambra State Governorship last November 16 as the reason for refusing to honour the invitation.

Mr. El-Rufai also insisted on seeing a warrant of arrest before he could go to the SSS office.

The invitation of the APC chief was in connection with his remarks at a conference in Abuja on Wednesday that there might be violence if the 2015 general elections were not credible.

Meanwhile, Mr. El-Rufai, in statement by his media advisor, Muyiwa Adekeye, on Friday, confirmed that armed SSS officials stormed his home in Abuja following his rejection of the attempt by the organization to compel him to report at their office without a valid warrant.

The statement said the former minister had on Thursday firmly told the Director General of SSS that he would be exercising his right not to go to the SSS offices except a warrant mandates him and 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 statement said.

“The SSS agents did not produce any warrant to back their invasion of his premises.

“The assault on El-Rufai’s house continues a sorry tradition of serial violation of his rights by the SSS which has arrested him at airports and hotels.

“The most recent was the action of the SSS in violating his right to freedom of movement in Awka during the Anambra elections. Without any just cause or formal charge, the Directorate of State Security Services (SSS) had unlawfully detained El Rufai, the Deputy National Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the premises of Finotel Hotel, Akwa, Anambra State, from the 15th day of November, 2013 to the 16th day of November, 2013.”

The statement said during the period, Mr. El-Rufai was not only restricted to the hotel, he was denied access to his congregational prayer as a devout Muslim, and kept incommunicado without access to anyone and or the press.

It stated that in order to remedy the flagrant violation of his fundamental rights as enshrined in sections 35, 39, 40 and 41 of the Constitution, the former minister sued the SSS, seeking eight reliefs, including an injunction to restrain the SSS from further infringing on his fundamental rights.

The statement also said that he prayed the court for a declaration that the SSS had no powers under the 1999 constitution (as amended) or under any Nigerian law to either impose a general restriction on movement or restrict his constitutional right of freedom of movement as enshrined in Section 34 of the 1999 constitution on account of the Anambra State Gubernatorial election that took place on the 16th day of November, 2013 or any other election.

It stated that proceedings in the case against the SSS began on January 16 at the Federal High Court, Awka, Anambra State and that one C.C. Nwaokorie, who is the counsel for the respondents, informed the court that they had only received the processes the previous day.

“The records of the Court indicated that that they had been served in good time. The court adjourned to 19 February 2014 for hearing of the matter,” the statement said.

“The SSS is advised to diligently attend to this pending matter. Mallam El-Rufai will not be silenced. He will continue to do his patriotic duty of challenging INEC and the security agencies to guarantee the climate for free and fair elections in Nigeria by desisting from partisanship and the embrace of impunity.”

Meanwhile, the APC has expressed outrage over the harassment of its official.

In a statement on Friday, the party described the invasion of Mr. El-Rufai’s home without any warrant of arrest as “shameful overkill.”

The party, in the statement by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, said it was shocked that the DSS was seeking to arrest Mr. El-Rufai for merely exercising his constitutional right of free speech.

It said there was nothing inciting or extraordinary in the statement made by its official that there might be violence if the 2015 general elections were not free and fair.

”What our Deputy National Secretary said is a statement of fact and should not warrant any harassment, unless of course the DSS is saying that the 2015 general elections will not be free and fair,” the APC said.

”The statement is a matter of cause and effect and amounts to a patriotic call for the 2015 general elections to be free, fair and credible. If this statement now rankles the DSS, then the department has a lot of explanation to do to convince Nigerians that it was not engaging in a witch-hunt, considering the case instituted by Malam El-Rufai against it (DSS) over his illegal detention in a hotel in Akwa during the Anambra governorship poll last November.”

The party said it wondered why the DSS had suddenly found its agility, after feigning deafness when people like Edwin Clark, Asari Dokubo and Chukwuemeka Ezeife issued a direct threat to Nigeria’s continued existence over President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term ambition.

”The DSS is free to join the police in becoming a partisan and compromised national institution, but it should weigh the consequences of such action on its long-term credibility,” the APC said

Also, in a statement Friday, a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, said he wondered what Mr. El-Rufai’s crime was that warranted the harassment he is currently suffering.

He said the APC chieftain stated the obvious when he said there would be violence if the 2015 presidential elections were rigged.

“It has been brought to my attention that heavily armed operatives of the SSS have stormed the home of my friend and brother Mallam Nasir El Rufai,” Mr. Fani-Kayode said.

“What was his crime? He stated the obvious and told the truth- namely that if the Presidential elections are rigged in 2015 by the ruling PDP the people would rise up and there would be terrible violence and colossal casualties.

“As far as I am concerned he is simply stating the obvious. It is only those that are planning to rig that have a problem with this bitter truth.

“Nasir was simply counseling them about the natural consequences of their intended criminal actions yet the government appears to be hell bent on charting the course of oppression, intimidation and the suppression of human rights, including the right to the freedom of speech.”

The former Aviation Minister said Mr. El-Rufai had sent a strong warning and that nothing would change even if he was locked up by the SSS.

He said, “El-Rufai has sent a strong warning and, whether they like it or not, locking him up will change nothing.

“Whilst no-one wants violence and even though some of us abhor it let it be clearly understood that if anyone is hurt, maimed or loses their life as a consequence of PDP-rigging in 2015 the blame and responsibility will lie squarely on the shoulders of President Goodluck Jonathan and his PDP who are hell-bent on staying in power at all costs.

“It is only a weak and nervous government that has lost its moral compass, that has no respect for human rights and that is devoid of any conscience that behaves in this way.”

 


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  • patriot

    This is a funny reason of wanting to arrest El-Rufai.How much of similar provocative statements made by A sari Dokubo on 2015 Election,and wat did they do to him?Or is this that as a Niger Del tan and a supporter of Jonathan he is free to make any careless statement?U better watch the consequence of ur actions,Nigerians are watching!

    • Kola Adekola

      Well, the govt is now tired of anyone making such statements and the SSS has duly warned politicians to cease. El-Rufai might be the first to be disciplined, or at least given very stern treatment as a lesson to others. Maybe the next loose mouth after this will actually go to jail for a long time.

      • bayo

        Kola Adeola, you remember that Dokubo-asari was jailed in Benin Republic-right? do you want us to inform Nigerians why President Jonathan hurriedly helped to secure his release? We want to know this in the name of our security. Can you liase with SSS to explain this to us?

        • redeem

          He was released because it was OBJ who told the authorities in Benin that Asare was training snipers to kill tinubu el rufai and ribadu in the university he established in that country–well it turned out to be a lie-he was framed up by OBJ-just as obj bombed odi over some fake allegations–but is quiet concerning the ongoing gun battle in ogun his state

          • bayo

            Did you mean to say Goodluck Jonathan helped secure his release for the reasons you just stated? And is the information you just gave contianed in government gazettes both in Benin Republic and Nigeria? Contemporary world is a modern world and society and NOT a village. So? information of the type you just gave must be in govt bulletins. Is there one that you know of that other Nigerians do not know which contain the information you just gave? Or is to contained in a tribal gazette which other Nigerians are not privy to? Please inform us.

          • Kola

            Pls do u have any document to back up ur claim otherwise God will punish you!!

      • igboham

        I believe that selective justice is wrong.

    • redeem

      Aasare comment was as a result of threats issued by Junaid- El Rufia declared that-(The next election is likely to be violent and many people are likely going to die in the process. The only alternative left to get power is to take it by force; this is the reality on ground” (Thisday newspaper, January 23, 2014). Remember Buhari also made similar calls-on his supporters to lynch Nigerians who voted for Jonathan–it resulted in the murder of over 1,000 9jas and 11 youth corpers-in the post election riot-mostly southerners in the fulani north) So tell us if Asare comments did result in the murder of Nigerians in Ibadan or lagos- unquote

      • Clear Water

        Bla bla blah.

      • Kola

        He El-rufai said it b’cos there’s evidence that militants are planning to wage war if Jonathan is not allowed to come back! The bloodshed is reffered to the bloodshed the Niger Deltans are promising to spill if Goodluck is not allowed to come back. So shld the ambition of Jonathan hold the rest of Nigerians to ransome?

        • igboham

          Yes – what is good for the goose is good for the gander, Nigeria had been ruled by force for a long time.

    • Mohammed

      SSS hunt down Shekau and Dokubo not El-Rufai.

  • Nick

    Can the SSS please first arrest Dokubo-asari who said blood will flow in 2015 if President Jonathan is not re-elected. Is Dokubo-asari free to say this because he is from South South and President Jonathan is also from South South? In failing to arrest or invite Dokubo-asari is the SSS playing President Jonathan’s script by shielding Dokubo-asari? Is this why President Jonathan helped Dokubo-asari out of police detention in Benin Republic? The SSS has clearly shown its partisanship in failing to even invite Dokubo-asari. The SSS partisanship may actually be the reason why violence will ensue in 2015 for everyone is watching every move by SSS.

  • omo oba

    Asari Dokubo and Edwin Clark should be hunted down too.

  • Wähala

    After harassing Ango Abdulahi, now it’s El-Rufai that the DSS abi SSS are harassing for saying the same thing thugs like Asari, Ezeife and fossil Clark have been shouting for months… if they’re now saying El- Rufai is not above the law, it means those supporting 3rd Term for Dumbo are abi? Nonsense!

  • A Nigerian

    When Asari Dokubo made a similar statement on camera with so much guts and even threatened the authorities to carry out an arrest if they could, they totally ignored his case. Buhari also made a provocative statement concerning the security of we Nigerians come 2015. Are they immune to the law any more than El Rufai? Is Asari’s exemption affiliated with tribalism? Does our Presidents influence have anything to do with it? We can by no means deny the fact that our so-called president is a simpleton.

  • Gideon Orkar

    and the midget coward runs

  • Angryman

    I believe those of you defending El -Rufai for his reckless and inciting statement were not affected by the violence of post 2011 election
    We had it before and we do not pray for a repeat performance
    Buhari said something along that line, of baboons being soaked in blood
    There is constitutional procedure of seeking redress if anyone felt an election had been rigged – and certainly not violence
    And only a court of competent jurisdiction can pronounce an election rigged
    What stopped him from saying they will pursue any irregularities to the full extent of the law and make his followers to be aware of this instead of advocating/suggesting violence
    May be because they have been getting away with such violence informed him to make such a statement
    That Buhari made provocative statements , likewise Asari Dokubo, and were not picked up does not give anybody any right to talk anyhow
    The time of ignorance God forgave ; now everybody has to watch what he/she says

    • Teddy

      Angryman, you are not fair in your submission. In as much as no reasonable person prays for violence and its antecedent consequence(s), I think a govt organ like the SSS should be seen to be seriious and impartial in discharging its very sensitive assignment rather than being allowed to be used as a willing tool by the timid politician in power to hunt down perceived enemies and opposition. For the SSS to convince Nigerians of its impartiality, I will wish they extend their invitation to the likes of Asari Dokubo, Ezeife and Edwin Clarke who had in the recent past and at various time, made more provocative statements and threat on behalf of Mr. President.

    • A Nigerian

      Of course, we do not want or pray for violence come 2015. Nobody is saying anyone has a right to suggest violence, facts have just been stated here. Why should certain government officials be exempted from laws governing our society?? There was no explanation given as to why Asari Dokubo (especially) swore ‘blood will flow’ should Jonathans re-election not occur as though he had a right to elect on behalf of Nigerians. Question here is, why wasn’t he pursued and ‘brought in’ for questioning by the ‘SSS’, why wasn’t any arrest warrant issued? He clearly threatened the safety of EVERY SINGLE NIGERIAN. Why was his case different? Clearly, Asaris affiliation with PDP/Jonathan has participated in his impudence. And no one is saying El Rufia did the right thing either.

    • Babawo

      “Kare jini, Biri jini” in Hausa language, translated literally, means : “tough competition”. Those mischief makers misquoting Buhari with idiotic ‘baboons and dogs soaked in blood’ retarded translation should go and learn Hausa language if their own language is retarded/backward and insignificant to be listed as as language.

      • Angryman

        Thank you for trying to enlighten us
        But a statement or an idiom can mean different things depending on how it is used
        And by the way do you have a transcript of his statement
        It would be nice to have his statement in Hausa and English in parallel
        What we were told was that he said if the elections were rigged then — “baboons and dogs——”
        Are you now saying that it should read ” if the elections are rigged then there will be tough competition” ?
        Glad if you could enlighten us the more

    • Kola

      For God’s sake are u daft? Let Asari face the music and then see if El-rufai will not follow suit. Stop calling black white!

      • Angryman

        Sorry , what brought about being daft
        If you cannot understand what I wrote you can ask for assistance

  • Danjuma

    This is not abt politics along,Nasir EL rufai was quatted sayin some derogatory and provocatin statements abt JESUS christ through his twitter handle which was criticised by large majority of nigerians non christians alike.An american film producer makes a film with some one acting as mohammed cause a world wide protest and destruction of life and property.Buhari ones said in one of his interview BBC Hausa section”if it will so then muslim should vote muslims and christians should vote for christian and we wll see who will win election”this statemen ws taken seriously by nothern christians owing to the fact that muslims are not majorty in Nig.So winning election has become a do or die affair,polician re busy stragising there plans using all available means to get into power.NIGERIANS beware of ther antics its in the interest of democracy bt pErsonel interest .

    • Kola

      Pls go learn correct English! Instead of writing quoted, you wrote quatted-ha!ha!ha! Turanci indeed! Quatted!

  • Kola Adekola

    So the man is running on his little legs? And there I was thinking El-Rufai was a very brave man.
    Shame.

    • bayo

      you must be a clown. so why did SSS not arrest Dokubo-asari? Just wondering. Do you know why?

      • Kola Adekola

        The SSS has now given the warning, and unfortunately El-Rufai is the test case.
        I pray he is taught such a bitter lesson that all others will be “persuaded” away from foolishness.

        In the meantime, El-Rufai needs to give his tiny lil legs a deserved rest and stop running. Its the manful thing to do.

        • bayo

          The SSS has now given the warning after the fact? And this makes sense to you? It is a pity that after the fact way of doing things dominates Nigeria. Remember how people say Bode George, Stella Oduah and even Madam Iweala’s import waivers are no corruption, are no offense? Your mode of thinking in the SSS handling of issues under the direct guidance of Aso Rock smells of these corrupt cases. But one more question: why did President Jonathan procure the release of same Dokubo-asari from the prison in Benin Republic? Nigerians are interested in how the way you explain away the serious inconsistency of the SSS will also explain why Jonathan procured the release of his thug Dokubo-asari from benin Republic prison without informing us what was amiss with Dokubo-aari and why he stepped in the secure his release. Over to you Kola Adeola- we are all ears. Help the president and SSS by informing us.

        • Garden-City Boy

          You got the point. These awusas deviants need to cut to size.

        • Kola

          Idiot-u cannot be the same Kola as myself-ole!

      • redeem

        Asare again like I asserted b4 now-made his comment in response to the threat of war issued by Junaid–why dont u ask why the fulanis were not arrested for threatening to make the country ungovernable for jonathan if he wins the 2011 elections

        • bayo

          so it is a balance of terror and violence from Jonathan and his South South Group and the Fulanis-right? So why threatening to arrest one while leaving the other? why not arrest dokubo-asari and Junaid? why threatening to arrest El Rufai while dokubo-asari and Junaid are free? why did president Jonathan put pressure on Republic of Benin to free Dokubo-asari from jail in Benin Republic? why is SSS for the sake of Nigerian security not interested in why dokubo-asari was arrested in a foreign country-Benin Republic- and why our own President (though he is clearly and Ijaw president now) used Nigerian power to help secure a prisoner-dokubo -asari-from prison in Benin republic? Please answer.

        • Kola

          Shameless tout!

    • Kola

      You idiot-who told u he’s running away?

  • icedbreez

    Its time to man up El rufai. ..stop running…always talking recklessly.

  • Gbenga

    Its amazing how majority of you that comment here are suffering and watching your life pass by in front you. Even your childrens future is being mortgaged by a corrupt government which has not respect for citizens.Yet you think this type of one sided attack of government critics is something to commend. I weep for you and your children.

    • redeem

      How old is Nigeria–mumu may be u are telling us Nigeria is 3 yrs old abi–pig–how many head of state have we had so far’ only Jonathan may be-let us separate period-have the yorubas not ruled Nigeria for 12 yrs under obj–show us the result–are we not talking about the good things of life still after wasting our oil revenue

      • Kola

        Shutup! You cybercafé scumbag!

      • Abdullahi Abba Bukar

        During the Yoruba and Hausa regimes refineries where built which gave thousands of Nigerians jobs but what is happening today? Underground sales of refineries, leasing (2) cars with N225m, brothers making provocative statements without being arrest, etc. So, aren’t the former better?

    • Clear Water

      Gbenga don’t mind them. I have come to discover that 95% of these jobless internet boy scouts are all from one tribe with a big grudge against the Hausas.

  • Iliya

    Useless woman why don’t you arrest the Niger Delta terror leader Asari Dokubo, the hopeless Niger Delta grandpa, Edwin Clark, and the biafran idiots Ezeife and Chukwumeriji for making comments worst than what El Rufai said. All he said was that free and fair elections would prevent election violence. So what is wrong with that, except if you plan to rig the 2015 elections, and in that case be ready to face the consequences.

    • redeem

      because he has not done any wrong-

      • Kola

        Shameless kobo-kobo militant. You are scared that the easy money you get will go the easy way-abi?

  • BB Hope

    In October 2013, the Republican Party, which is the opposition party in America shut down the Government for 16 days! Salaries were not paid to even military personnel. Government was virtually brought to a halt and the American people suffered greatly… Obama did not accuse any one of subversion or treason or trying to overheat the American Polity! Obama used the right arguments to convince the American people, who in turn prevailed upon their legislators to pass the legislation reopening the Government.
    Therefore Nigerians should learn from the Americans whose system we copied and stop shouting foul each time an opposition party tries to pressure the Government to extract concessions etc. IT IS PURE POLITICS! Same politics Jonathan is playing with Amaechi / Rivers State. Have they seceded from Nigeria? PDP and Jonathan should read the handwriting on the wall and mend their ways. BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE….

  • Kailani Salawu

    please when people
    like Edwin Clark, Asari Dokubo and
    Chukwuemeka Ezeife issued a direct
    threat to Nigeria’s continued existence
    over President Goodluck Jonathan’s
    second term ambition, what has the sss done then?

    • fred

      They were then given more oil contracts by Aso Rock.

  • Garden-City Boy

    He is out of his spider-hole, Fani-Kayode. Why has he been so silent on open letters, especially Chief Clark’s. Has he given up on OBJ? Does he find himself unable to deal with the whirlwind resulting from the letter he authored under the influence of a “holy spirit”?

  • beddy chibs

    Why is he running,let him come out and own up his comments.We can not accept any more threat from him again.

  • With political acrimony everywhere, 2015 will be a tough one. I think it is appropriate to do a rethink on the next elections. We do not need any more bloodshed in our beloved country. Let us postpone this elections to 2017 and allow GEJ complete two more years as a sacrifice, while the whole polity is genuinely restructured through the National Conference.

  • robert

    Surprisingly, Reno Omokri -Goodluck Jonathan New Media Adviser-has not used his usual clones(deri/mpitikwelu/afam/mani_kay/akpos1 etc) to comment on this issue. Is he changing his clone names? Just wondering.

  • Taliban

    The midget should come out of hiding and face the music. I understand he scaled a fence yesterday to escape the SSS so it all mouth and cowardice hell rufai?

    • bantali

      hm hm hm hm hm, it seems dokubo-asari will not need to scale the fence beause the SSS dared not arrest him. I can see. Interestingly Aso Rock, President Jonathan, SSS and the media people of Aso Rock do not know that the joke is on them. Your fabled midget is telling you “why didnt President Jonathan’s SSS do the same to dokubo-asari…” Can you think a bit about this Taliban?

  • Kola Adekola

    It is very wrong for someone of El-Rufai’s stature to run away after inciting the vulnerable poor to violence.

    This is how our politicians use Nigerian’s like disposable objects, only to hop on the next flight when they are called to stand and deliver.
    Why can’t he do the manful thing and defend his words bravely? It is somewhat cowardly to run away.

    • bayo

      Kola Adekola I am just wondering why President Jonathan has not informed Nigerians about the following-(i) The offense of dokubo-asari in benin Republic, why he was in police detention (ii) why President Jonathan had to quickly help with his release. Is it because dokubo-asari is from the same South South like Jonathan? Did Jonathan help with his release so that dokubo-asari will help Jonathan with violence if Jonathan loses in 2015? Why is SSS not interested in this scenario? Is it because SSS is in Jonathan’s pocket? It is bad that President Jonathan will turn himself to a South South president this way-use Nigeria only for south south interests-too bad. What do you think Kola Adekola na Jonathan?

  • Aro

    Pardon my ignorance but,
    Who were GEJ’s lecturers ?
    Who were the students he lectured?
    What was his thesis on?
    Perhaps some of these answers can shed light on the direction of his administration…
    Serious answers please.. Thank you

    Uniport abeg no fail hand!

  • igboham

    I would have completely agreed that his arrest will be unfair considering the number of people who have made identical statements. Unfortunately the only names mentioned are from the east and none from the North. It is a fact that the threat of violence emanated from Buhari back in 2011 which was acted on in the aftermath of the election. No one was arrested – El rufai should not be either. Revising history as done here by APCis no different from fraud

  • kharixmah

    El-Rufai should honor the invitation. He doesn’t have any immunity and the fact that he has a pending case with the SSS abt his Awka detention doesn’t mean he cannot be invited for another different issue. Again, no sane judge will grant his prayers not to be arrested again.