Nigeria's ex-minister released after questioning

3rd July 2011, Comments 0 comments

Nigeria's secret police have released a former minister arrested on his return from London over "inciting" articles he wrote against the government, a spokesman for his party said Sunday.

"The former FCT (Federal Capital Territory) minister was released last night but he has been asked to report at the SSS (State Security Service) office in Abuja on Monday for further questioning," Yinka Odumakin of the opposition Congress for Progessive Change (CPC), told AFP.

He said Malam Nasir El-Rufai who was arrested as he landed at the Abuja airport on Saturday morning was "questioned for many hours before he was released".

Odumakin said a prominent Nigerian publisher signed a bail bond for the former minister before he could be freed.

The SSS said Rufai's arrest followed "recent articles in the cyber and print media which have been considered by well-meaning Nigerians to be inciting, inflammatory and grossly misleading".

The SSS cited a recent article in local newspaper Thisday on a recently passed freedom of information law.

The piece had misinformed "the public with mischievously orchestrated data with the intent of causing disaffection among the populace thereby subverting government", said the secret intelligence service.

Rufai served as FCT minister under ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, but fled Nigeria after he was accused of corruption over the allocation of lands in Abuja while in office.

He returned to Nigeria last year and joined the opposition CPC, since then he has been an outspoken critic of the government.

© 2011 AFP

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