Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Police have apologized for declaring me wanted – IBB's spokesman Kassim Afegbua


The spokesman of former President Ibrahim Babangida, declared wanted by the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, over a press statement he issued on behalf of his principal on Sunday, has said that the police has apologized for declaring him wanted.

Afegbua, who reported at the police Force Headquarters in Abuja at about 10:10 am, also said that the the former military head of state was fully in support of the statement.

Afegbua was accompanied by his legal team, led by his lead counsel Barrister Kayode Ajulo.

Speaking with journalists in shortly before entering the Louis Edet House, he said: “The former President is fully behind me and he had been in touch with me. There’s no need for him to say anything more than he had already said.”

Afegbua, who said that General Babangida was surprised and wondered why the police declared him wanted, said that it was the former president himself who called to inform him that he was wanted by the police.

He said: “It will even interest you to know that when I was declared wanted on Channels TV and Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), my boss IBB was the one who called me and said ‘why are they declaring you wanted? Are you a criminal?’ And we laughed over it.

“He also asked if I was on the run and if I have been given invitation and he said, okay that is interesting. My boss said he heard on the news that they talked about defamation of character and he asked whose character have you defamed?

“So I am very much in touch with him and I am not doing anything out of the blues. He is a man I have been with for the past 14 years as spokesman. Even when I went to serve in my state, I was still very much in touch with him. I have said it before that I am part and parcel of him, we are family and so I don’t have any cause to worry over anything.

“I am only here personally because I was declared wanted. I am not on the run; I am not a fugitive to the law, and as a responsible Nigerian I feel it was unwise on the part of the police to declare me wanted when I have not been formally invited. So I am here to present myself. I am here with my wife, other family members and my lawyer.”

After the meeting with police authorities, Afegbua in an interview with journalists, said:

“Incidentally, it became a very fair discussion. The Police said there was a mix-up somewhere, to have warranted me been declared wanted, and they apologised.

“They said that the Police is for the people; in a democracy it is their responsibility to be there for the people, not to intimidate, not to harass me.

“That they didn’t intend to harass me, they didn’t intend to intimidate me. Of course, you know we have a case in court, my lawyers will advise what steps we are going to take,” he said.

Afegbua also revealed that he had earlier withdrew the case filed against the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) and Channels Television.

Police authorities were not available to comment on the apologies Afegbua claims they had offered to him.

Making further remarks about the former Head of State, he said: “Talking about defamation of character, whose character have you deformed or have you defamed? So I’m very much in town with him; I’m not doing anything out of the blues…

“I was declared wanted. It was unwise on the part of the Police to declare me wanted when I’ve not been invited.

“If the former President has spoken to THISDAY Newspaper and confirmed the first later, the other letter does not matter. To me, that purported rebuttal was unnecessary,” he concluded.

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