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Protester: Nigerian first lady orders arrests

By The Associated Press

This article was published May 5, 2014 at 7:20 a.m.

LAGOS, Nigeria — A leader of a protest march for 276 missing schoolgirls said that Nigeria's first lady ordered her and another protest leader arrested Monday, expressed doubts there was any kidnapping and accused them of belonging to the Islamic insurgent group blamed for the abductions. The first lady's office denied there were any arrests.

Saratu Angus Ndirpaya of Chibok town said State Security Service agents drove her and protest leader Naomi Mutah Nyadar to a police station Monday after an all-night meeting at the presidential villa in Abuja, the capital. She said police immediately released her but that Nyadar remains in detention. Deputy Superintendent Daniel Altine, police spokesman for Abuja, said she had no information but would investigate.

As AP journalists waited outside the Asokoro police station in Abuja where Nyadar was being held, they watched a vehicle from the presidential State House drive up, saw her bundled into the car and driven away.

Ayo Adewuyi, spokesman for first lady Patience Jonathan, said there was a meeting but he was unaware of any arrests. "The first lady did not order the arrest of anybody, and I'm sure of that," he said.

Police say more than 300 girls and young women were abducted April 15 from Chibok Government Girls Secondary School, of whom 53 girls escaped and 276 remain in captivity.

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