How we rescued Chido Onumah from intended mob attack – DSS

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Chido Onumah

The Department of State Services (DSS) has denied media reports that it arrested Chido Onumah, a journalist and activist.

Mr Onumah was reportedly picked up at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Sunday evening.

The activist was said to have returned to the country from where he went for an international engagement when he was arrested.

But in a statement by Peter Afunanya, spokesman of the DSS, the agency said Mr Onumah was rescued from an intended mob attack on him over to the inscription on his dress.

This has been corroborated by the activist in his narration to Premium Times where he is a member of the editorial board.

“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,” the statement read.

“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.

“On his arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on September 29,¬† 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 same clothe, 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. He subsequently removed the clothe 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,” the statement added.