I Was Arrested – Onumah Replies DSS
By Dipo Omoware
Released Nigerian Journalist Chido Onumah has shed more light on his encounter with the Department of Security Service (DSS).
The renowned author said he was picked up at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja as he returned from a trip to Sweden.
Earlier, the DSS had in a statement made available to Nigeria Info, said Onumah was never arrested adding that 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
But speaking on Nigeria Info FM’s Hard fact with show host Sandra Ezekwesili, Onumah said “just as I picked my luggage, someone accosted me, flashed his ID card and said I should follow them to their office.”
“I didn’t resist, I didn’t create a scene, I just followed them and they kept me there for up to two hours.”
Onumah explained that he was with the DSS for six hours on a supposed routine check and quipped “I spent 6 hours with them, if that’s not an arrest, I don’t know what else is arrest.”
“They told me it was routine, that it would last for 30mins or a maximum of an hour. We spent almost two hours there, then they took me into their headquarters and we spent another 4 hours there.”
While trying to explain why he was taken in, the activist and author of the 2016 book ‘We Are All Biafrans’ said the reasons were not exactly clear.
“I saw a complete disconnect between those who picked me up at the airport and the people I spoke to at the headquarters.”
“The first question they asked was ‘You claim you are a Biafran, why do you have a Nigerian passport?’; It was much later during interrogation in their office, that they were like we received ‘intel that you are on this flight and people felt uncomfortable that they were people planning some things to cause a breach of peace and disaffection in the country and you were coming into the country to be part of that process;”
“Then later they said something to the effect that we’re trying to protect you because we got intelligence that some people were planning to attack you in the street, (to) which I asked for clarification but they didn’t give me.”
“It really was a question of back and forth”, he concluded.
Chido Onumah was picked up on Sunday evening at about 4pm.