THE Nigeria Police has stated why it declared the spokesman a media aide to former Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, Mr Kassim Afegbua wanted without inviting him first.
According to the police, Afegbua is been declared wanted for for giving false statement.
This latest development comes two days after Afegbua gave a statement credited to the former military leader on President Muhammadu Buhari to step down in 2019 to allow for a generational shift.
Babangida lamented the flow of blood in the country, apparently reacting to the series of violence in some parts of the country that have led several Nigerians to their early graves.
Less than 24 hours after the controversial statement went viral, another version of a new statement emerged distancing the former military president. He said the views expressed were solely those of his henchman.
On Monday, reports emerged that Babangida has confirmed the veracity of Afegbua’s statement.
But the Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Jimoh Moshood, on Tuesday, stated why Afegbua was declared when he appeared on Sunrise Daily, a programme on Channels Television.
“The Inspector General of Police has ordered his arrest for giving false statement, making injurious falsehood and equally defamation of character or an act which is inimical to law and order in the country,” Moshood said.
“We have not reached a conclusion, we launched investigation into the matter that is why we have invited him to the police headquarters.
“Every Nigerian, no matter how highly or lowly placed are entitled to their opinion.
“The fact remains that it is only personalities in public offices that have immunity not to be declared wanted by the police.
“Being wanted does not convict you of the crimes or taint image. We have the responsibility to protect law and order in the country.”
When asked whether the police spoke to Babangida on the statements released, Moshood declined making comments in the regard.
Babangida’s Henchman, Afegbua to visit Police Headquarters – Lawyer
Meanwhile, Afegbua has said he committed no crime to warrant being declared wanted by the police.
His lawyer Kayode Ajulo said there is a “desperate” attempt by some individuals to “to intimidate his client and bend his will”.
The lawyer in a statement on Tuesday morning explained that his client was not invited by the police before he was declared wanted by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, on Monday.
“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 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.
“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.”