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Nigeria’s Secret Police allegedly Detains US-Based Author Okey Ndibe



Nigerian author and critic, Okey Ndibe was taken in for questioning upon arrival at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos on Saturday by officers of the State Security Service (SSS) but has been released.

Ndibe, who is also a novelist and teacher, told SaharaReporters the officials made him the ridiculous offer to go to Abuja to apply to be removed from the secret police’s watchlist by which he was detained.

He said he declined the suggestion.  Ndibe, who has lived in the United States since 1998 and taught in a number of universities said:

I told the SSS that it’s a shame a country that rolls out the red carpet for criminals would harass a writer who wages war on corruption and the corrupt.

In January 2011, Ndibe was similarly arrested and questioned for several hours at the same airport by the SSS, and his American and Nigerian passports confiscated for two days.

On that occasion, several outraged international bodies, including Reporters Without Borders, challenged the SSS to explain the arrest, but the agency never did.

Ndibe, who was a widely-known journalist before leaving Nigeria and has continued to write a column, is the author of ‘Foreign Gods, Inc.’ and ‘Never Look An American In The Eye’.

The watchlist by which the SSS has been arresting Ndibe is thought to have been first developed by the government of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua which was angry about criticism of the flawed election that brought it to power and several leaks regarding his state of health. Yar’adua died in office in 2010.

Photo Credit: SaharaReporters


  1. Lagosian

    April 8, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    Nigerian SSS is trash. Like, you’re harassing someone for not being afraid to expose the rubbish the government is dragging Nigerian citizens through daily. Please let Mr. Ndibe go abeg. I was privileged to listen to a speech he gave in Baltimore a few years back and everything he has said and continues to say about the mess that is Nigeria is the TRUTH. All the same, the average Nigerian probably doesn’t care about what he or any of the other people at Sahara Reporters are saying, so why does the government even feel threatened? Stop the playacting and let the man continue to do his thing.

  2. CovertNigerian

    April 9, 2017 at 5:45 am

    The same DSS that welcomed the convicted money launderer, looter of Nigeria’s public funds and fugitive from Nigerian authorities, James Ibori, back? With priorities like this, can we really be surprised that our country is constantly off balance?

  3. Arigbabu dollars

    April 10, 2017 at 7:12 am

    DSS are not better off. U can’t be harassing people from saying d truth when d government errs. Baldadash.

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