Molly Kilete, Abuja
An invitation by a group known as the National Support for Atiku Mandate to its members to converge on the Appeal Court on Tuesday might have necessitated security agencies to barricade all roads leading to the Appeal Court in Abuja, Daily Sun gathered.
The appellate court serves as the venue for the ongoing presidential election tribunal.
The invitation said to have been sent to the Whatsapp group of the members advised them to storm the court premises at 9 O’clock in the morning.
Security sources told our correspondent that the intention of the group was to scuttle proceedings of the court with protests that might end in violence.
A top security officer who did not want to be mentioned told our correspondent that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration, decided to take the right step by inviting the security agencies to ensure the protesters do not have their way.
The source said: “News about a group which goes by the name National Support for Atiku Mandate, had sent invitation to its members asking them converge on the Appeal Court premises in Abuja on Tuesday, May 15 at 9 O’clock in the morning.
“Their intention was to cause violence and scuttle the proceedings of the courts which we cannot allow to happen.
“The source said ‘when we received the intelligence we had to act fast because we cannot allow innocent people to be caught unaware of something they know nothing about; so we provided security in the entire area to ensure that people working there were not hurt.
“’All we did was to barricade the entire area and carry out screening on every person entering the premises, that was all we did,’” the source said.
Security personnel comprising men from the Nigerian Army, police and Civil Defence had barricaded all the roads leading to the Court of Appeal in Abuja as early as 8 O’clock in the morning using their vehicles.
They specifically blocked the Shehu Shagari Way, the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Way, leading to the Federal Secretariat forcing workers and other road users to take alternative routes to their paces of work and businesses.
The barricade which lasted for about four hours was finally removed at about 12:30.pm
When contacted, the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, said: “The action was a precautionary measure to ensure security of life and property in the FCT.
“We regret whatever inconveniences it might have caused the residents and call on all to please endure it for the sake of national interest.”