The police have threatened to arrest former Minister of Aviation Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, for deciding to turn down the invitation of Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Ibrahim Idris to appear for an interview today.
Last week, the police invited Chief Fani-Kayode to appear at the Force Headquarters today, but in a response dated August 27, his lawyers, Kayode Ajulo and Co, said the invitation from the Inspector-General of Police was ‘too vague and ambiguous’, adding that he could only honour it by September 5.
Responding to The Nation’s enquiries yesterday, police spokesman Moshood Jimoh said by such affront, the former minister had set himself up for arrest, since he had rejected a courteous approach, adding that the police would arrest him.
“He was given a courteous invitation and expected to come; his decision not to come and honour the invitation and then fix a date of his own is not known to any procedure or law.
“We have given him the benefit of doubt by inviting him and by not going directly to effect an arrest.
“Anybody accused of an offence must report at the police station when he is invited.
“So, if he fails to report, we are going to arrest him.
“We will effect appropriate processes within the law to get him arrested.
“Besides, if he wants the particulars, including the details of who made allegations of the said offences, we are giving him the benefit to come and state his side of the issue.
“So, he must be at the police station where he is being expected,” Jimoh told The Nation.
Chief Fani-Kayode said he would not be able to honour a police interview scheduled for today.
Last week, a letter signed by CP Habu Sani, the Commissioner of Police in- charge of the IGP Monitoring Unit at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, alleged criminal conspiracy, defamation, inciting publication, injurious falsehood and conduct likely to cause a breach of public peace and urged Fani-Kayode to report for an interview.
In a letter dated August 27 and addressed to the Inspector-General of Police through CP Sani, Fani-Kayode’s lawyers from Kayode Ajulo & Co. Castle of Law in Abuja said the date was not suitable and that they required the particulars of the alleged offences.
“However, it is essential to unequivocally state that the invitation letter under reference appears vague and ambiguous in its form.
“Your office, for reasons best known to them, did not mention the name (s) and person(s) complaining against our client and on what particular subject matter his presence is required.
“Therefore, in view of the short notice apparent in your letter under reference, our client is constrained to politely request for a rescheduling of the interview date and also that he be furnished with essential particulars of the purpose of his visit to your office so as to adequately prepare for the said ‘interview,'” Fani-Kayode’s lawyers said.
According to the former minister’s lawyers, his response does not imply an unwillingness to meet the police.
“Our client is in receipt of your letter of invitation under reference, but respectfully requests for a rescheduling of the date slated for the interview.
“Recall that your letter of invitation is dated 20th August 2018; however, same was delivered to our client only on the 24th day of August 2018.
“The said letter has requested that our client appears before a named officer on the 28th day of August 2018 for what you described as a “fact finding” discussion.
“We have our client’s instruction to inform you that he will honour the said invitation and possibly respond to questions on all facts, which may be limited to his knowledge,” they said.
According to Chief Fani-Kayode’s legal team, the need to attend the ongoing Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Conference is among reasons why the former minister would prefer a new date in September.
“Our client shall in the circumstance be requesting that the appointment be rescheduled to either the 4th or 5th day of September, 2018, subject to the convenience of your office and officers.
“This request is necessitated by the fact that our client already has earlier scheduled programmes that border on some urgent and crucial matters already lined up for this week, including the ongoing Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Conference, which conference our client is participating in and hosting a number of delegates.
“These might make it difficult or rather impossible for him to honour the invitation on the scheduled date.
“It is in the light of the foregoing that we most respectfully crave your indulgence for a rescheduling of the date slated for the interview to afford our client the opportunity to attend to his pressing engagements,” the lawyers said.
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