Sunday, July 3, 2011

How Dubai meeting nailed el-Rufai, lawyer

3 July 2011

Lateef Ibrahim

·         Buhari talks tough, demands release

•Ex-minister announces arrest on Twitter

INTELLIGENCE reports about suspected subversive activities against Nigeria in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was the catalyst for the arrest, yesterday, of former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Sunday Compass has learnt.

Also linked to the alleged subversion of the country is a Lagos State-based South West legal practitioner, who is deeply rooted in human rights activism.

El-Rufai was picked up by officials of the State Security Services (SSS) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja yesterday morning on arrival from the United Kingdom. It was not clear, however, whether he had visited the UAE before moving to the UK, or if the suspected activity occurred sometime earlier.

When the SSS released a statement on the arrest yesterday evening, it merely complained that recent statements and articles by el-Rufai were inciting against Nigeria.

But, Sunday Compass learnt that there was more to the arrest than the media publications.

It was learnt that intelligence reports showed that el-Rufai and some other persons met in Dubai, UAE, where discussions that could destabilise Nigeria featured prominently.

El Rufai is an acolyte of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and a member of the Congress for Political Change (CPC), whose sympathisers unleashed mayhem on the country after it emerged that their candidate former military ruler, Major General Muhammadu Buhari, had lost the presidential election to incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.

The former minister, who is being prosecuted for alleged land grab and financial misconduct while in office, is a member of Buhari's CPC and has been a known critic of the Jonathan administration.

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