The Department of State Security Service (SSS) has arrested some union leaders of National Examinations Council (NECO), even as federal government renewed the appointment of Professor Promise Okpala, the embattled registrar of the council for another three years.
There had been an industrial face off in the council between the registrar and the leadership of the newly inaugurated Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) as the union Leaders were against the reappointment of the registrar because of his supposed anti union posture.
It later culminated into the union threatening a showdown with the registrar, over alleged illegal stay in office by the registrar at the expiration of his tenure and on Friday last week the registrar directed the mass transfer of about 200 staff from the headquarters to zonal and state offices, forcing the union to stage a peaceful demonstration in the premises of the council.
LEADERSHIP gathered that as soon as the peaceful demonstration was rounded up at about 2pm on Friday, agents of the state director of SSS invited the leaders of the union to its Dutsen Kura office.
A source close to the union said that the eight man caretaker executive committee and three congress members of the union who arrived the SSS office at about 3pm, were taken before the state director and were held for five hours.
It was learnt that the union leaders were released at about 8:15pm, but the Secretary of the union, Comrade Ibrahim Aliu who was detained and made to pass the night with the security outfit was later released after 17 hours in detention.
Confirming the development, the chairman of the caretaker committee of the union, Comrade Abdulrasheed Rabana said that security operatives invited them but expressed reservations over the detention of the union Secretary by the security.
Rabana said, ‘’I led my executive members to honour the invitation of the director of SSS and all we heard at the meeting were those things the registrar have been saying. We thought we were invited to state our own side of the matter, but we found out that we were only invited to be given directives handed down by the management to the SSS”.