Former governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam has been detained by the Department of State Services in Abuja.

It was not clear why Suswam, who is said to have senatorial ambition, was detained, but a source close to the ex-governor said his detention was connected to a petition submitted to the DSS by a politician from Benue.

The source said, “We learnt that a top politician sent a petition to the agency over an alleged crime in the state. It was based on this that he was said to have been invited.”  Suswam had earlier been arrested last year, during which the DSS claimed that arms and ammunition and other items were recovered in some cars in a complex which it claimed belonged to the former governor.

The opposition party, PDP has condemned the arrest and detention of the former governor saying there is no justification for the arrest of Suswam, which it said was politically motivated.

The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, said at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday that the arrest of Suswam was to prevent him from attending a political meeting scheduled to hold in the North-Central soon.

He said, “the wicked clampdown has started. Only yesterday (Wednesday), we were made aware of the arrest and detention of former Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam, who has been kept incommunicado without access to his lawyers, while the Federal Government is not forthcoming with the details of the reasons behind the arrest and detention. However, we know that his arrest and detention is intended to put him out of circulation so that he will not take part in the mega meetings of our party planned for the North-Central states. There are already fears that other opposition leaders and dissenting voices have been placed under watch and will be dragged in and framed up on security charges, so as to keep them out of circulation ahead of the elections.”  

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