Prince Kassim Afegbua, the spokesman of former Military head of state, Ibrahim Babangida, has reacted to the reports that the Inspector General of Police, Idris Ibrahim, has declared him wanted following a press release he published on behalf of his principal.
In declaring the former Edo State Information Commissioner wanted, the police, through the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Jimoh Moshood said that the release contained ‘false statements, injurious falsehood, defamation of character and acts capable of inciting public disturbance throughout the country’.
The Force PRO added that Afegbua should make himself available to the police to answer some questions on the controversial press statement where the former head of state reportedly advised President asked Nigerians not to vote for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.
Even though Babangida has come out to clear the air that he authorized Afegbua to release the statement in an interview with ThisDay Newspaper, the police still think that the spokesman has questions to answer.
However, Afegbua, through his lawyers, Kayode Ajulo & Co, has reacted to the IG’s declaration that he is now a wanted man and have also released a statement to that effect.
Read the statement here:
“Our client, Prince Kassim Afegbua ‘s attention has just been drawn to a malicious news item on Nigeria Television Authority alleging that the Nigeria Police has declared him wanted over a statement he issued on behalf of former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, GCFR.
Prince 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 constitutional provisions, the 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.
We have advised Prince Afegbua of his right and remedies available to him; as a law-abiding citizen of Nigeria, he has elected to make himself available to the Police on Wednesday once he returns from his trip.”
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