Premium Times reports.
Nigeria’s secret police, the Department of State Services, SSS, on Saturday night blocked the suspended Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, from boarding a Turkish airline flight for a planned trip to Saudi Arabia for lesser hajj, a witness and a spokesperson for Mr. Sanusi have told Premium Times.
Operatives of the SSS based at the Aminu Kano International Airport also seized Mr. Sanusi’s passport and told him they would not allow him to travel abroad unless they received clearance from their Abuja headquarters.The SSS’ action however appears a contravention of the April 3 judgment of a Federal High Court in Lagos, which restrained the agency and the Nigeria Police from arresting or harassing the CBN Governor or seizing his passport.
A spokesperson for Mr. Sanusi, Muyiwa Adekeye, told Premium Times Saturday night that the governor had arrived the Kano airport for the 11: 10p.m. Turkish Airlines flight to Turkey where he would have connected another flight to Saudi Arabia.
But after the CBN governor had been checked in by the airline and was about to complete immigration formalities, his passport was confiscated by the SSS operatives at the immigration cubicle and told he could not travel.
“The SSS officials were shown the certified true copies of the court order which barred them from harassing or arresting him,” Mr. Adekeye said. “But the officers said they have no choice in the matter and that they were only acting on instruction from above that they should not allow the governor to travel.”
Mr. Adekeye said when Mr. Sanusi insisted on reading the court order to the operatives, the officers simply disappeared with his passport and failed to return.
The development caused confusion at the airport and delayed the Turkish Airline flight. Mr. Sanusi’s luggage was however later unloaded to allow the flight proceed on its journey without the embattled CBN Governor.
Contacted for comments Saturday night, the spokesperson for the SSS, Marilyn Ogar, said she was not aware of the matter.
“I don’t know about that please,” Ms. Ogar told Premium Times on telephone.