The Legal Defense team of Dr. Obadiah Mailafia has explained why the former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Dr. Mailafia would not honour the fresh invitation extended to him by the Nigeria Police Force through the office of the Deputy Inspector-General Force Criminal Investigation Department.
Dr. Mailafia was invited to appear today (Monday) in Abuja for an interview but he didn’t honour the invitation as his legal team said such invitation is strange and alien to Nigeria’s extant laws and procedures. Speaking with journalists in Jos on Monday, on behalf of the legal defence team, Yakubu Bawa said the said invitation which came as a photocopy is being challenged in the court and all relevant parties have been served.
Bawa said, “We are all aware that Dr. Obadiah Mailafia was invited by the Department of State Security Services (DSS) Plateau State Command for an interview, investigation and interrogation in respect of an interview he granted for a local FM radio station in Lagos on the 9th day of August, 2020 on issues
related to Internal Security of Nigeria. His interview focused on the incessant killings and ethnic cleansing in his homeland of Southern Kaduna and nation- wide insecurity.
“The interview generated several comments and interests from several quarters local, national and global. Dr. Obadiah Mailafia honoured the said invitation, on the 12th day of August, 2020 and appeared at the DSS Plateau State Command here in Jos. On that day he was interviewed, interrogated and his statement was recorded. After six (6) hours of interaction and interface with the DSS officials he was released on bail that very day.
“In the same vein, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia was re-invited to appear before the DSS Plateau State Command on the 17th day of August, 2020. He had another interaction with the Director of the Command for about fourty(40)minutes after which he was allowed to go home. We want to reiterate at this juncture that the investigation as we speak to you is ongoing is yet to be concluded. Dr. Obadiah Mailafia is still on bail.
“It is with the greatest shock and consternation that we want to use this avenue as the legal defence team of Dr. Obadiah Mailafia to bring to thenotice and knowledge of the general public, that another letter of invitation was served on him on the 21st day of August, 2020 at his residence by the Nigeria Police Force through the office of the Deputy Inspector-General Force Criminal investigation Department, Abuja requesting him to appear on Monday 24th August, 2020 which is today for an interview.”
He added that, “We were duly notified by Dr. Obadiah Mailafia before and after he was served with said letter of invitation by the Nigeria Police Force. Permit us to state unequivocally and without mincing words that we found the service of the letter of invitation on Dr. Obadiah Mailafia by the Nigeria Police Force through the office of the Deputy Inspector- General of Police Force Criminal investigation Department strange and alien to our extant laws and procedure.
“From the content of the said letter of invitation, the intention of the Nigeria Police Force through the office of the Deputy Inspector-General Force Criminal Investigation Department is to commence an investigation on Dr. Obadiah Mailafia. The letter of invitation captioned: ‘’Investigation Activities’’ first paragraph of the letter reads: The office of the Deputy Inspector-General, Force Criminal Investigation Department wishes to inform you that Nigeria Police Force is investigating a case in which your name featured prominently.
In light of the above and consequently, it is critically imperative to state that, the case the Nigeria Police Force is investigating where the name of Dr. Obadiah Mailafia purportedly featured prominently cannot be unconnected and unrelated with the case the DSS is investigating against him which borders on internal security. It is sacrosanct to note also that the DSS is the only statutory body empowered by law to investigate crime against internal security not Nigeria Police Force.
“Section 3(a) of the Security Agency Act eloquently stipulates this position. In consonance with the said provision, the DSS had assumed investigation in the matter. For the purpose of clarity and emphasis the DSS is still investigating Dr. Obadiah Mailafia in respect of the said matter. However, as legal defence team to Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, we have carefully and meticulously analysed the letter of invitation served on him as well as the intention of the Nigeria Police Force as clearly stated in the said letter of invitation.”
He noted that, “Consequent upon which, we immediately approached the High Court of Justice Plateau State and filed an action for the enforcement of his fundamental rights to personal liberty and fair hearing as enshrined in our Constitution.
At same time, we are challenging the letter of invitation served on him by the office of the DIG Force Criminal Investigation Department, Abuja which is a photocopy. This morning, we have served the Inspector–General of Police, Deputy Inspector –General of Police Force Criminal Investigation Department and the undersigned of the said letter of invitation one DCP. Umar Sanda by substituted means through the Commissioner of Police Plateau State Command having obtained a Court order to do so.
“We are praying the Honourable Court to make judicial pronouncement on the letter of invitation erved on Dr. Obadiah Mailafia. We are equally subjecting the invitation made by the office of the DIG Force Criminal Investigation Department, Abuja to Dr. Obadiah Mailafia to appear for an interview today under judicial scrutiny. We strongly believe that it is significant to hear the decision of the Court on these germane issues.
“It is necessary also for the office of the DIG Force CID to wait for the judicial verdict in order to know whether it is appropriate and in tandem with our extant laws for the Nigeria Police Force to invite Dr, Obadiah Mailafia in the midst of an ongoing investigation by the DSS on a matter that is related to internal security.
It is correct to say that the case of Dr. Obadiah Mailafia as a result of the service of the letter of invitation on him by the Nigeria Police Force has assumed a different dimension. It is unfortunate to note that the case is now characterized with undeniable elements of intimidation, harassment, persecution and witch-hunt.”
He concluded, “We stand to be corrected, however it is difficult not to deduce and if possible conclude that the invitation of Dr. Obadiah Mailafia by the Nigeria Police Force is pregnant with sinister, clandestine and surreptitious intention since the DSS is the only statutory body empowered by law to investigate Dr. Obadiah Mailafia./We are now calling on the Inspector- General of Police to allow justice, and the rule of law prevails in this matter.
“Now that Dr. Obadiah Mailafia had filed an action in court in line with the tenets of our constitutional democracy, judicial system, principles of human rights and doctrine of the rule of law, the Nigeria Police Force is required by law to hold on and refrain from inviting and requesting him to appear at DIG office Force CID Headquarters, Abuja.
“Furthermore, we are urging the Nigeria Police Force to desist from taking any action that is unlawful, unconstitutional, illegal, prejudicial and inimical to the person and the Constitutional rights of Dr. Obadiah Mailafia until Plateau State High Court of Justice makes judicial pronouncement on the matter. We do sincerely pray and hope that Nigeria Police Force will heed to this clarion call and allow the Constitution, the law and the supremacy of the rule of law to prevail in this entire case.”
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