Senior Special Assistant to the Senate President on Youth and Student Matters Barrister Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere has been arrested and detained by the Department of State Services (DSS).
His brother, Obinna Ikeagwuonu who raised alarm on Ikenga’s arrest in a statement made available to NewsDay in Abuja said he was arrested on Monday, adding that Ikenga had informed his family of an invitation extended by the Assistant Director of Internal Security.
According to him, Ikenga, who is also President of National Youth Council of Nigeria, NYCN, has not been seen or heard from ever since he entered into the premises of the Department of State Services headquarters. He claimed that every attempt by his family, lawyers and personal physician to have access to him have been resisted by the security outfit.
The statement read: “Information at our disposal has it that Ikenga informed his family of his invitation to the office of the DSS, yesterday by 10:00hrs on the call of the Assistant Director Internal Security. “He has not been seen nor heard from since the time he entered the premises of the DSS. Every attempt by his family, lawyers and personal physician to have access to him have been resisted by the security outfit.
“Ikenga is the President of the National Youth Council of Nigeria and also Senior Special Assistant to the Senate President on Youth and Students Matters and the family has been withstanding immense pressure while assuring and reassuring Nigerian youths who are calling from all over the country enquiring about the welfare of their President.
“We have limits to our strength to withstand this pressure if Nigeria youths want to approach the State and demand for the whereabouts of their President.
Ikeagwuonu further disclosed that unofficial information reaching his family confirmed that barrister Ikenga was interrogated on two issues; a petition authored by the Minister of Youths and Sports Development Barr. Solomon Dalung who was indefinitely suspended from the Board of the National Youth Council of Nigeria, a body over which Ikenga is President. In the Petition, Dalung maintained that Ikenga had called on President Muhammadu Buhari to summarily sack him as Minister. Describing Ikenga’s arrest by the DSS as illegal and the height of impunity, Ikeagwuonu who noted that the security agency must be held responsible for whatever happens to his brother, said,
“If truly this is one of the questions for which he is illegally detained without access to food, water, legal and medical assistance, then that is impunity at the highest level and we condemn it. Ikenga we are informed has not been shown any petition so far. Ikenga is a law abiding citizen who has approached the Courts in defence of his mandate that Solomon Dalung has severally boasted he will snatch from Ikenga. His lawyers have initiated contempt proceedings against Mr. Dalung and instead of the Minister to go to Court; he is using his office and institutions of State to attempt to intimidate Ikenga.
“He (Ikenga) was alleged to be working with people who the state is not happy with. If these people who the state is not happy with refer to the Senate President Dr. Bukola Saraki, then Ikenga has this message for his captors that he is proud of his relationship and association with Dr. Saraki and is bold to stand by him. Ikenga will not deny Saraki because of oppression of the state.” “We make this statement to inform the world that Ikenga is in the custody of the Department of State Services, detained illegally and against his will and for the world to know who to hold responsible should anything happen to Ikenga.”