Kassim Afegbua, former Head of State, Ibrahim Babangida ‘IBB’s media aide’ in a statement he sent in to Premium Times, disclosed that he will be turning himself in after being declared wanted by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, over a statement he released asking President Buhari to give up his second term ambition, alleging that he got Babangida’s permission for it.
Recall that a counter-statement was quickly released on the same day, signed by Babangida himself, saying the earlier statement did not come from him. The statement drama however led to IBB’s media aide, being given 24 hours to report to Nigeria’s Police Headquarters or risk being arrested.
In the statement made available to Premium Times, Afegbua’s lawyers argued that their client cannot possibly be accused of any crime for discharging the duties, assigned to him by his Boss. Recall that Afegbua maintained that the statement was permitted by IBB in an interview with Channels TV.
The statement read:
Mr. Afegbua is a well-known journalist and was a cabinet member of Edo State Government with a known address in Benin, Edo State and Abuja, yet he is not on notice of the police invitation whatsoever, before the purported publication declaring him wanted.
For the avoidance of doubt, there are spelt-out procedures for declaring a person wanted by the police. The police or other law enforcement agencies can declare a person wanted if they find reasons to do so, particularly if the person is a suspect in the commission of a crime and is on the run.
The public must know that our client, in discharging his duty to his principal, General Ibrahim Babangida, GCFR cannot by any stretch of the imagination be said to have committed a crime that warrants such negative publicity. Neither is he on the run.
Our client, however, remains undeterred by the desperate efforts of some individuals to intimidate him and bend his will and rights against the Constitution provisions, framework of Nigeria Police Force Act and the laws of the land.
The circumscription of his constitutional right to the dignity of self, freedom of expression and fair hearing denotes that there is a desperate attempt to scare him into submission.