BY OKEY NDIRIBE
Deputy National Secretary of All Progressives Congress APC Mallam Nasir El-Rufai who was detained by the Department of State Security DSS last Monday was released Tuesday morning.
This was disclosed by Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, the Media Assistant to El-Rufai while speaking to Vanguard in a telephone interview.
He further disclosed that the former Minister of Federal Capital Territory was released at about 12.30 am after undergoing interrogation by operatives of the security outfit for about 15 hours.
Adekeye further disclosed that El-Rufai was interrogated on the alleged inciting remark he made regarding the possibility of violence erupting if next year’s general elections are not free and fair.
He further stated that El-Rufai had already travelled to Lagos to attend a meeting of the Interim National Executive Committee of the APC.
It would be recalled that El-Rufai turned himself over to DSS after the security outfit obtained a warrant for his arrest.
The security outfit had mounted a manhunt for him after the remark he made which was considered inciting in the nation’s security circles.
The former FCT Minister was driven by Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi to the National Headquarters of the security outfit at about 9.15 am in an ash-coloured Mercedes sports utility vehicle. Others who accompanied him were his wife, Mrs El-Rufai; Senator Chris Ngige; Interim National Secretary of APC, Tijani Tumsa; the Publicity Secretary of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties CNPP Mr Osita Okechukwu and El-Rufai’s lawyer, Mr Mustapha.
However, at the SSS headquarters, only Amaechi, Ngige and mustapha were allowed to follow him into the premises of the security outfit.
Speaking to news men earlier, El-Rufai had insisted he was innocent adding that his comment about the possibility of violence erupting if next year’s general elections are rigged was based on Nigeria’s electoral history.
He maintained that his comment was his in line with his freedom of speech as enshrined within the amended 1999 Constitution.
The APC chieftain had while speaking at the Transformed to Transform, T2T Nigeria, Conference and Career Fair, a leadership and empowerment initiative for the National Youth Service Corps members in Abuja last Wednesday, said the elections could be marred by riots and other forms of violence that might lead to loss of lives and properties unless the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the security agencies ensured they were free and fair.
However, El-Rufai has declined the invitation from DSS citing the pending suit he filed against the SSS as his reason.