The Department of State Services (DSS) has invited Okechukwu Ibeanu, the National Commissioner in charge of logistics at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for questioning.
His invitation is believed to be related to the events that led to the postponement of the general election by INEC by one week few hours before it was to commence.
Ibeanu has been invited to report to the DSS headquarters in Abuja at 2pm on Tuesday.
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC Chairman, had blamed the postponement on sabotage and logistical issues.
Although Ibeanu, a professor of political science, is in charge of logistics having taken over from Amina Zakari in October 2018, a different ad hoc committee was set up specifically for the elections.
The ad hoc committee, which has 17 members, is headed by Ahmed Tijjani Mu’azu, a retired air vice marshal.
Curiously, an article reportedly written by Ibeanu in December 2015 resurfaced on the social media on Monday with a comment: “Nigeria has a Biafran agitator as the REC for Logistics, no wonder this unpatriotic individual, Professor Okechukwu Ibeanu who has made his mission to undermine the Nigerian state.”
The article in question was a rejoinder to an opinion written by Ibrahim Jibrin (‘Jibo’), a professor and fellow of the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD).
In his rejoinder, titled ‘Resolving the Igbo Non-Question: Pitfalls of Jibo’s Single Strand Ethnic Narrative’, Ibeanu accused Jibrin of “a single strand ethnic narrative”.
“The Biafra agitation is more than relations between an ethnic elite and ethnic lumpen youths. Those young people are framing a struggle steeped in their material conditions of life – unemployment, poverty, etc.
“The leadership of their States (and nation as well) has failed them, but not because they are Igbo leaders, but because of broader issues of political economy, which you very well understand,” he wrote.
The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP) had earlier raised the alarm that President Buhari was planning to sabotage and shift rescheduled presidential and national assembly elections by directing DSS to invite and detain Prof. Okechukwu Ibeanu.
The group alleged that the reason for the directive was because Ibeanu refused to help the APC sabotage distribution and compromise of sensitive election materials.
According to the statement signed by the first National Spokesperson of CUPP, Imo Ugochinyere, “The Refusal of INEC to proceed with staggered election during the aborted Feb 16 election which ruined APC’s rigging plan is the reason for the new offensive action against INEC to intimidate them into submission.
“The idea to detain the Federal Commissioner today was on the sole instigation of the former DG of the DSS Lawal Daura who still runs the agency by proxy and convinced Buhari to allow the use of the DSS to clampdown on INEC to force them to do their bidding or sabotage the rescheduled election and stop it from holding.
“We call on all Nigerians to rise up against this ongoing leadership abuse and madness which have the potentiality to throw Nigeria into an electoral violence that will enable Buhari execute his lawless order that security agencies should publicly start killing people under the guise of Ballot box snatching.”