Saturday, April 03, 2004

Nigeria: more on the coup rumours

Presidential spokesperson Ms. Oluremi Oyo denied knowledge of a coup plot ... .
"I do not know of any coup anywhere. What happened was that there was a breach of security by some military personnel and civilians and the matter is being investigated."
Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Martin Luther Agwai, addressed the story about the alleged abduction of Major Hamza al-Mustapha...
"I do not believe that any civilised person in Nigeria today would want to abduct anybody. I do not also believe that any civilised organisation will want to do it. But if the Army I am commanding should turn out to be so uncivilised, I will be shocked". (link)
The government did question a number of military officers ... and has yet to release their names. The Associated Press story carries a few details....
The officers were questioned Monday at the nation's military intelligence headquarters in the capital of Abuja, the three officers said. The officers, who included one of the 28 who had been interrogated, spoke on the condition their names not be used.

After the questioning, officials released the suspects -- many of them Hausa-speaking, Muslim army colonels and majors from the north -- but impounded their cellphones, apparently to investigate call records, the men said.