3 July 2011
El-Rufai ‘Invited’ For Questioning, Not ‘Arrested’, Says SSS .
By Marcel Mbamalu and Seye Olumide News - National
No, He Was Arrested – Aide
THE State Security Service (SSS) yesterday faulted reports of alleged arrest of former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, saying that he was merely invited to explain the “distorted” figures he published in a national newspaper regarding public expenditure.
El-Rufai had, in an article — “What Nigerians Pay FG” — which was published last Friday, given a breakdown of the 2011 budget, and claimed that the National Security Adviser (NSA), the Police and the Defence Ministry would spend a total of N865 billion, amounting to an average of over N2 billion per day.
While casting aspersion on the high cost of governance, he wondered whether government’s N4.485 trillion budget would make life any better “or even provide security for Nigerians.
But the source at the SSS yesterday said the overall expenditure of the security service and the NSA does not, in fact, exceed N100 billion. The source put the projected expenditure of the SSS at “about N23 billion”; the NSA, N40 billion, while the Presidential fleet of the Service takes just a few billions of Naira.
The SSS explained that El-Rufai’s invitation could not be tantamount to arrest, since “the disjointed figures” he bandied in the media were capable of creating levels of insecurity in the country and, therefore, needed to be explained.