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.
According to Bawa, “Dr. Obadiah Mailafia granted an interview 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.
“Consequent upon the said interview, the Department of State Security Services (DSS) Plateau State Command on the directive of the DSS Headquarters, Abuja invited Dr. Obadiah Mailafia through his employer, National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru to appear before the Command on the 12th August, 2020 at 1200hrs for interview, investigation and interrogation.
“Dr. Obadiah Mailafia honoured the said invitation, on the 12th day of August, 2020. I accompanied him to the DSS office in Jos. On that very day he was interrogated, profiled and his statement was recorded. The crux of the invitation was for him to make retraction of the comments he made during the interview at same time to apologize. I personally objected to the said instruction issued him by the DSS officials.
“However, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia was cajoled and coerced by the DSS to address the media of his interface and interaction with them. According to the DSS officials it was an order from the Headquarters for him to do so.”
Speaking further, he added, “Eventually Dr. Obadiah Mailafia addressed the media on his invitation and interaction with the DSS officials. After the media address, I was instructed being his counsel to provide a surety for him to be released on bail. I provided the surety, after fulfilling the bail conditions Dr. Obadiah Mailafia was allowed to go home that very day after 6hours of interview.
“In the same vein, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia was re-invited to appear before the DSS Plateau State Command on the 17th August, 2020. The Surety and I accompanied Dr. Obadiah Mailafia to the DSS office, Jos Plateau State Command that day. Similarly, he had another interaction with the Director of the Command for about forty(40)minutes after which he was allowed to go home.
“It is sad to note and to our greatest shock and consternation on the 21st August, 2020 another letter of invitation was served on Dr. Obadiah Mailafia 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 for interview.
“In the light of the above, as his legal defence team, we 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 at same time challenging the said invitation served on him by the office of the DIG Force Criminal Investigation Department, Abuja.
“We are praying the Honourable Court to declare the said invitation letter as unconstitutional, unlawful, illegal, ultra vires with no legal effect whatsoever. We are equally seeking the Court to restrain the Nigeria Police Force from inviting or requesting him to appear before the DIG Force Investigation Department Police Headquarters, Abuja since the DSS had assumed investigation in the case and the investigation is ongoing. The case is now fixed for hearing on the 11th September, 2020.”