Kassim Afegbua, spokesman of former military president Ibrahim Babangida, says he committed no crime to warrant being declared wanted by the police.
It would be recalled that the police had declared Kassim Afegbua, spokesman of Ibrahim Babangida, wanted in connection with a statement he issued on behalf of his principal on Sunday.
In the statement which Afegbua issued on behalf of the former military ruler, Babangida asked Nigerians to be patient with President Muhammadu Buhari until his tenure ends in 2019.
He also expressed concerns about the high level of insecurity in the country, particularly herdsmen killings. The former military ruler suggested community policing and added that the time for restructuring had come.
But few hours after the first statement was released, another one purportedly signed by Babangida was made public.
The statement denied the critical issues raised in the first one, saying as an elder statesman, IBB had an “unfettered channel of communication” to the president and he could reach him without going public.
However, Afegbua insisted that Babanginda authorised the statement he issued.
He said those who love the former military president more than himself were behind the counter-statement.
“I have been doing this job for about 14 years now. And I have never issued a statement on behalf of the former head of state and he gave a rebuttal. I got authorisation and commitment from him before I issued the statement. It has been in process,” he had said when he appeared on Sunday Politics, a Channels Television programme.
Reacting to the development, Kayode Ajulo & Co, representatives of Afegbua, said there is a “desperate” attempt by some individuals to “to intimidate him and bend his will”.
The statement read: “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.”