Sunday, June 24, 2018 7:44 am
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe was arrested by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) for allegedly aiding and abetting the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), his lawyer, Mr. Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume, SAN, said on Saturday.
Ume told journalists in Abuja that he got the information on why the Senator was arrested when the DSS operatives stormed his client’s residence on Friday evening.
He said, “When the security operatives shortly after arresting Abaribe at forenoon on Friday stormed his Apo residence to conduct some search, I specifically requested to know if they have a search warrant and they answered in the affirmative.
“At that point, they showed me a search warrant signed by one Magistrate Kutigi and on the warrant it was written that my client was arrested for allegedly aiding and abetting the proscribed Independent People of Biafra, IPOB.”
According to him, the operatives refused to give him a copy of the search warrant but only went ahead to do a thorough house search from 5pm to 11.30pm during which everything in the house was turned upside down.
“They claimed to be searching for arms and ammunition at my client’s house with him in attendance, but at the end of their search no arm or ammunition or Ghana-Must-Go bag was found there. “What they succeeded in finding in the House were only 23 items including three laptops and phones which were all documented and signed for by the leader of the operatives. They refused to release the laptops one of which contained question paper for an examination to be taken on Monday and the phones; one of which belongs to an American citizen.”
The lawyer also said DSS had denied him and his client’s doctor access to the detained Senator.
“We made efforts for us to see my client because he needs to have access to his drugs but we were turned back. So, as we speak, he remains incommunicado,” said Ume who added that he would approach the court to press for the enforcement of fundamental rights of his client if he is not released by Monday.
The lawyer also said his client who stood surety for Nnamdi Kali, leader of outlawed IPOB at an Abuja High Court is expected to be in court at the next hearing of the case on Tuesday, June 26, adding, “but with this arrest I will have to inform the court about his arrest.”
Ume warned government not to stifle opposition “because I believe my client is being hunted because of his opposing views like other Senators like Dino Melaye, Shehu Sani who have been critical of the policies of the present administration.”