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Abaribe narrates ordeal after spending four days in DSS custody

ENYINNAYA Abaribe, senator representing Abia South at the National Assembly, says he will not be cowed into silence in his criticism of the Muhammadu Buhari administration, despite his recent ordeal at the hands of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Abaribe said this on Wednesday while narrating his recent arrest and detention to his colleagues during plenary.

He said he was arrested on Friday, June 22, while driving out of the Hilton Hotel in Abuja, where he had attended an event organised by the International Press Institute (IPI).

“I was taken to the office of the DSS by 11:30 in the morning and subsequently by 5 pm, I was taken to my house for a search of my residence,” Abaribe said.

“When we got to my house, it was at the point I was formally informed of why I was arrested.

“The search warrant that was used stated clearly that I’m being accused of sponsoring a proscribed organisation, IPOB, and so that the search was to look for evidence of such.

“After the search, which took about five to six hours, I was taken to the office of DSS about 12 midnight and now kept there.”

At the DSS detention facility, Abaribe said he saw Gabriel Suswam, former Governor of Benue State, who had been arrested the previous Tuesday. According to Abaribe, Suswam said he had no idea why he was arrested and detained.

The late musician that Nigerians know very well called Fela said ‘when you are inside, you are in inside world, when you are outside, you are in outside world’.

On his part, though he has been released on administrative bail, Abaribe said he is required to report to the office of the DSS everyday as part of the bail conditions.

“Every morning, I have to report to the DSS. But these things are going to be challenged. What everybody has asked me is that where do we go from here?” Abaribe said.

Quoting Theodore Roosevelt, former American President, Abaribe said: “Patriotism means to stand by the country, it does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, same to the degree to which a president stands by the country.

“It is patriotic to support a president in so far as he efficiently serve the country. It is unpatriotic to not to oppose a president who fails to stand by his duty to do well for the country. And it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth about the president or anyone else.

“I will continue to tell the truth, I will continue to stand by this country, I will continue to say that no person is bigger than this country.”

Commenting on the issue, Bukola Saraki, Senate President, expressed his delight at Abaribe’s release from detention, and said his ordeal was “one of these sacrifices we all have to make in deepening our democracy”.

Abaribe was one of the sureties that signed the bail bond for Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the now proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Following Kanu’s disappearance after his home in Umuahia, Abia State, was allegedly raided by soldiers, the court is threatening to order the forfeiture of the N100 million which Abaribe deposited as part of the bail bond.

However, the lawmaker insists that he does not know Kanu’s whereabouts.

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