The Council of Arewa Chiefs in southern Nigeria has expressed anger over the continued detention of Sarkin Hausawa of Lagos and the Chairman of the Council, Alhaji Aminu Yaro, by the Department of State Services (DSS), in relation to the investigation of former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele.
Naija News gathered that the DSS had sent an invitation to Yaro for questioning in connection with the ongoing investigation of Emefiele, which the monarch duly honoured.
However, the secret police refused to release Yaro three days after he honoured the invite.
Contacted last night by Daily Trust, the spokesman of the DSS, Peter Afunanya, neither confirmed nor denied Yaro’s detention with his wife.
He simply said, “No comments, please.”
But in a statement signed by the Jarman of Lagos State, Yarima Shettima, the Arewa Council Chiefs asked the DSS to immediately and unconditionally release their leader and his wife.
The group asked the security agency to grant them access to legal representation, medical attention, and family members.
Shettima said: “The attention of the Council of Arewa Chiefs, Lagos State, has been drawn to the unexplained detention of the Sarkin Hausawa of Lagos and Chairman of the Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Aminu Idris Yaro with his wife by the Department of State Services (DSS).
“We note also that the Sarkin Hausawa has been held by the DSS incommunicado for the last three days following what initially was a routine invitation which he dutifully honoured.
“The Council of Arewa Chiefs also understands that Sarkin Hausawa is being held in connection with the ongoing investigation of the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele.
“The Council is not unaware of the friendship relationship between Sarkin Hausawa and Mr. Godwin Emefiele just the way Emefiele is friends with many other chiefs and dignitaries all over the country and around the globe.
“What is regrettable is, however, the unexplained connection of a friend with the ongoing investigation of Mr. Emefiele, who, till this moment, as far as the public is concerned, is only being accused of possession of unlicensed firearms.
“The council is concerned that the DSS might typically be used to hunt down respected leaders of the community using terrorism fight as a smoke screen.”
While noting that the council was not challenging the power of the DSS and any security service in the country to invite any person for any of its investigations, the group pointed out that the detention of the Yaro beyond 24 hours as stipulated in the law by the DSS, is “repugnant to the sensibilities of the traditional rulership system, the Arewa community and the Council of Chiefs.”