Gov. Amaechi, Ngige, others, accompany El-Rufai to SSS headquarters

Rivers governor, Rotimi Amaechi, Nasir El-Rufai and Chris Ngige before travelling to SSS office in Abuja.

The SSS issued an arrest warrant for the ex-minister on Friday.

The Rivers state Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, and a serving senator, Chris Ngige, were among dignitaries who accompanied a former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-Rufai, to the offices of the Department of State Security Service, SSS, on Monday.

The former minister had reportedly declined the Thursday invitation from the SSS, citing his pending suit against the Service over his detention in a hotel in Awka during the Anambra State Governorship in November 16, 2013. However, on Monday, he also told journalists that he had heard about the invitation via the media.

The SSS is yet to publicly state their reasons for seeking Mr. El-Rufai’s presence at their offices. However, media reports claim that it was based on a statement the former minister made at a youth event in Abuja on Wednesday. He had said that there might be violence if the 2015 general elections were not credible.

After obtaining an arrest warrant, the SSS attempted to arrest Mr. El-Rufai at his Abuja residence on Friday – he was absent.

On Monday, at his Maitama residence, Mr. El-Rufai told journalists that the Service had agreed with his lawyer on Friday that the former minister would present himself at the SSS office on Monday morning.

“I think it’s because I sued the SSS for detaining me unlawfully in Awka, that is the main reason and of course they have to find some other reasons too because there’s nothing I have said that history has not proven.I said elections should be free and fair; if they are not free and fair, there would be violence,” he said
The Ex minister said that the SSS’ invitation was a ploy by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to silence every opposition.

“It is all about politics. It is all an attempt to intimidate and silence the opposition against crying out that elections are likely to be rigged by the PDP, and we will continue to speak. They can continue to arrest me until we get a free and fair election in Nigeria,” he said.

He, however, said he does not feel embarrassed by the constant call for his arrest.
“Look, embarrassment is part of life; it does not matter. All I want to say is that whoever violates the law should face the consequences. We would pursue our right in court and in the court of public opinion,” he said

Mr. El-Rufai was also accompanied by his wife and lawyer to the SSS office.

Both Governor Amaechi and Mr. Ngige were initially denied entrance by SSS operatives at the gate but after about 10 minutes of arguments, they were let into the SSS building to join Mr El-Rufai. About 10 others who accompanied the former minister, including journalists, were denied entrance into the SSS office.

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