Senator Abdulaziz Yari, the former Governor of Zamfara State, has remained in the Department of State Services (DSS) custody since Wednesday and as of 8 pm on Saturday night. Yari, an All Progressives Congress (APC) member, represents Zamfara West in the Senate.
No specific reason has been provided for his detention. However, it is believed that Yari’s decision to contest for the Senate President position against the preferred candidate of the APC, Senator Godswill Akpabio, may have angered President Bola Tinubu and the party. Tinubu and the APC had publicly endorsed Akpabio for the position due to his southern Christian background and previous Senate term as a way to dispel allegations of an Islamization agenda within the party. The party leaders are Muslims, including Tinubu, Senator Kashim Shettima (the vice), and Hon. Tajudeen Abbas (the Speaker of the House of Representatives). Furthermore, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, is also a Muslim.
Yari, however, defied his party’s zoning arrangement and insisted that a northerner should lead one of the three arms of government. In the June 13 election, Akpabio secured 63 votes, while Yari received 46 votes, resulting in Akpabio’s victory.
There were speculations that Yari’s arrest was related to the election, while others connected it to alleged corruption. Attempts to reach the DSS spokesperson, Dr. Peter Afunanya, were unsuccessful.
Previously, Yari had obtained a directive from the Federal High Court preventing the DSS, EFCC, and other law enforcement agencies from arresting him on corruption charges. The restraining order was renewed recently, with law enforcement sources indicating that investigations into the matter would continue in the meantime.