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HIGH-TENSION PROTEST: MAN CLIMBS 250-METRE MAST

By NBF News
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For four hours, a man, Mallam Musa Inuwa sat on a 250-metre high telecommunication mast vowing to remain there until his conditions of seeing either former vice president Atiku Abubakar or the Inspector General of Police was met.

The drama, which took place in the premises of the Federal High Court Abuja caused pandemonium, as court workers scampered for safety, fearing a suicide bomber was on a deadly mission.

Rumours started making the rounds in the city that members of the Boko Haram sect had invaded the complex of the Federal High Court.

The incident attracted government security agencies including the Fire Service, the National Emergency Agency (NEMA) and police to the scene.

The Police were represented by the Area Commander in charge of Maitama district of the FCT, Mr. Sunday Odukoya who led other personnel including Mr. Jimoh Moshood, the FCT Command spokesman.

It was almost becoming a hopeless situation as the protesting Nigerian refused all plea to come down from the mast.

Clad in brown caftan, Mallam Inuwa sat gently like a little bird awaiting the arrival of its mother.

In view of the development, security in the area was beefed up as only journalists and security personnel were allowed into the complex.

Daily Sun gathered that Mallam Inuwa had come to the court to file a case against former vice president Atiku Abubakar, whom he alleged owed him N15 million for construction work he did for him.

But he was advised at the registry of the court to file the suit at the Adamawa division of the court, since the Abuja division lacked the jurisdiction to hear the case. According to sources at the court, Inuwa was not satisfied with the position and requested to see the Chief Judge, a request that was not granted. It was after he met a brickwall in this quest that he decided to climb the mast to register his protest.

It took several hours of pleading from security agencies, including a trick played on him by staff of the court that his case has been assigned that made him to climb down from the mast amid cheers from the bewildered crowd.

He landed in the waiting hands of policemen who took him away in a Toyota Hilux pick-up van.

The FCT Command Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood said the police would investigate the allegations raised against Atiku by Inuwa before taking a position on the matter.

He added that should the police that is now keeping him in protective custody find that he was up to suicide, they would press criminal charges against him.

But in a quick reaction, former vice president Atiku Abubakar denied the allegation, saying the man probably had a mental problem.

Atiku's spokesperson, Alhaji Garba Shehu said: 'We honestly suspect that this man is a mental case. If there is one Nigerian who pays all his bills, that is Atiku Abubakar. If the idea of this mast climber is to get N2 million from the Turaki, this certainly is not the best way to go about it.

'Left to me, I would advise that the man should simply be ignored. Certainly he would have climbed down when he got tired of sitting up there.'