Why we detained Chido Onumah – DSS

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The Department of State Services (DSS) has said that its operatives did not arrest Dr Chido Onumah contrary to media reports.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the service, Mr Peter Afunanya, made this known in a press statement, Monday in Abuja.

It read in part: “The DSS wishes to make clarifications regarding media reports that Dr Chido Onumah was arrested by the Service. To set the records right, Onumah was never arrested by the Service.

“He was rather engaged in an interaction during which an act of his capable of undermining public order and national security was explained to him.”

Afunanya said: “On his arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on September 29, 2019, it was discovered that Onumah wore a T-shirt with the inscription: WE ARE ALL BIAFRANS  on it. With credible intelligence that he might be a subject of mob attack if allowed to go into town in same cloth, the Service invited him and drew his attention to the implications of his probable (un)intended action.

“It was strongly believed that an attack on Onumah would have sparked ethno-religious reprisals with dire consequences for law and order and public safety in the country. He understood the issues and pledged not to engage in activities that may cause disaffection in Abuja and the country at large.”

The spokesperson said that Onumah subsequently removed the cloth with the inciting symbols and inscriptions and agreed not to use it.

According to him, “The interaction between Onumah and the Service held in a convivial atmosphere. He appreciated the courtesies extended to him. Afterwards, the Service arranged for him to go back to his accommodation in town.”

He expressed hope that the clarification by the DSS has dispelled the “erroneous claims and reportage that he was arrested.”

The Service, he said acted within the confines of its mandate and only carried out its routine security duty that could have been discharged by a similar agency in any part of the world.

“It is not out of place for concerned security agencies to have sought clarification from a traveler concerning a subject of security interest,” Afunanya maintained.

The DSS reaffirmed its avowed commitment to the rule of law and protection of citizens and national critical assets.


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