The Department of State Service (DSS) has explained that Journalist and activist, Dr Chido Onumah was not arrested but was rather invited in order to prevent him from mob attack.
This follows reports by some online media on Sunday that the activist was arrested by the DSS, after he was been picked up at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The DSS in a statement on Monday by its Public Relations Officer, Dr Peter Afunanya, Onumah was invited for wearing a T-shirt with ‘we are all Biafrans’ inscription.
The State Service noted that if he was allowed to walk around in the same cloth, he might be attacked.
“On his arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on 29th September, 2019, it was discovered that Onumah wore a T-shirt with WE ARE ALL BIAFRANS inscription on it. With credible intelligence that he might be a subject of mob attack if allowed to go into town in the 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 ethnoreligious 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. He subsequently removed the cloth with the inciting symbols and inscriptions and agreed not to use it.
“The interaction between Onumah and the Service held in a convivial atmosphere. He appreciated the courtesies extended to him. Afterwards, the Servcie arranged for him to go back to his accommodation in town.
“It is hoped that this clarification has dispelled the erroneous claims and reportage that he was arrested. The Service 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 traveller concerning a subject of security interest.
“The DSS reaffirms its avowed commitment to the rule of law and protection of citizens and national critical assets,” Afunanya.