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Published On: Thu, Nov 28th, 2013

Update: Presidency Denies Flying Asari Dokubo in Presidential Jet after Release

Asari Dokubo

LAGOS NOVEMBER 28TH (URHOBOTODAY)-The Presidency on Thursday denied reports that the leader of the Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, who was released by security officials in Benin Republic, was flown aboard a presidential jet to Abuja.
Mr. Dokubo-Asari was arrested on Tuesday afternoon by the Benin police (gendarmes), his lawyer, Festus Keyamo, said on Tuesday.
The Niger Delta ex-militant and staunch supporter of President Goodluck Jonathan was said to have been released at about 1 a.m. (Nigerian time) on Thursday.

Mr. Keyamo on Wednesday evening asked President Jonathan to intervene and help secure the release of Mr. Dokubo-Asari. He confirmed his client’s release to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday morning.
Speaking to journalists at the Presidential Villa on Thursday, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati, denied claims that Mr. Dokubo-Asari was brought to Nigeria from Benin Republic in a presidential jet:
“There is no truth in the report that a presidential jet was used to convey Asari Dokubo. Again, what we see here is the attempt by people to just tell lies and try to package lies as the truth,” the spokesperson said.
Mr. Abati, who said he had read some reports credited to unconfirmed sources, added that “nobody has been able to say anything categorically and I think it is very sad that people, in an attempt to just play politics with anything at all, will start packaging lies hoping that gullible persons will believe them.
“An aircraft is not a ghost in the air. The movement of any aircraft is properly documented and people will see the aircraft if it lands anywhere, particularly the presidential aircraft.
“Nobody can come up with any evidence that any presidential jet was sent to Benin Republic. I can tell you that President Jonathan did not send any presidential jet to Benin Republic.
“Or has Asari Dokubo told anybody that he was brought to Nigeria in a presidential jet? So what is this all about? Blackmail and mischief obviously.”
Mr. Abati did not state if the president helped facilitate the ex-militant’s release. Mr. Dokubo-Asari has threatened to make Nigeria ungovernable if President Jonathan is not re-elected in 2015.
He has several investments in Benin including a school, and a housing estate. He is also believed to be close to high ranking Benin Republic officials.
Mr. Keyamo, who confirmed that the gendarmes searched Mr. Dokubo-Asari’s property, said no reason was given for his arrest.
Source: Premiumtimes

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