Abubakar Dantabawa, a political associate of a former governor of Zamfara State, Abdul’aziz Yari, has reacted to his arrest by the police in the state.
DAILY NIGERIAN recalls that following an intelligence report extracted from a CCTV camera installed across Gusau metropolis, Mr Dantabawa was arrested on Sunday, September 13, over an alleged secret meeting with suspected bandits at his Zamfara residence.
However, addressing a press conference at his residence on Thursday, Mr Dantabawa described the police arrest as baseless and politically motivated to tarnish his image.
While admitting to holding a meeting at his residence, Mr Dantabawa, however, denied any association with bandits, saying that the attendees at the meeting were the representatives of flood victims whom he came into the state to sympatise with.
He said: “I was in a meeting with the representatives of the people from my home town. Some police officers stormed my residence around 9 pm and arrested me with 16 others.
“Surprisingly, among those arrested were serving Permanent Secretaries in the state civil service and other PDP members who, as friends, usually visited me whenever I came around.
“Now, who are the bandits I was accused of meeting with? Is it the Perm Secs?,” he asked.
Meanwhile, a Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, has called for the re-arrest of Mr Dantabawa, alleging that there was an intelligence report on September 2, intercepting a conversion him and some suspected bandit leaders in Gusau.
The CNG, in a statement by its spokesman, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, demanded for a transparent action to determine the extent of Mr Dantabawa’s involvement in Zamfara banditry.
The group said: “On Sunday, September 4, 2020, the Zamfara State Police Command set the principal suspect, Dantabawa free, ostensibly owing to pressure from powerful influencers from a seat of power who are keen on blocking the prosecution.
“Against the backdrop of these concerns and observations, the CNG, not willing to remain silent or passive and allow things that potentially affect the North to continue unchecked, hereby reaches the following resolutions.
“We demand the immediate re-arrest and return to custody of the said Abu Dantabawa and all other suspected collaborators for proper investigation and appropriate prosecution.
“To demand a full investigation into the circumstances that led to the suspicious release of Dantabawa and other suspects from lawful custody outside due process,” the group added.