Dr Obadiah Mailafia, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who recently got invited for questioning by the DSS for his comments on Boko Haram on a national radio station, on Monday turned down the invitation by the police in Abuja.
This was made public by Mailafia’s lawyer, Yakubu Bawa, who addressed a press conference in Jos on Monday. Bawa faulted the police invitation, saying he found “the service of the letter of invitation on Dr Mailafia by the Nigerian 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.”
It will be recalled that the police had last week invited Mailafia to appear at the Force Headquarters in Abuja on Monday.
The former ADC presidential candidate had been grilled and released twice by the Department of State Services over the comments he made during a radio programme alleging that a serving northern governor was the commander of Boko Haram.
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In Bawa’s words, “It is imperative to state that the case the Nigeria Police Force is investigation, where the name of Dr Obadiah Mailafia purportedly featured prominently cannot be unconnected and unrelated with the case the DSS is investigating, which borders on internal security.
“It is sacrosanct to note also that the DSS is the only statutory body empowered by law to investigate alleged crime against internal security not Nigerian Police Force.
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“Section 3 (a) of the Security Agency Act stipulates this position and in consonance with the said provision, the DSS had assumed investigation into the matter.
“We have carefully analysed the letter of invitation served on Dr Mailafia, as well as the intention of the Nigerian Police Force as clearly stated in the said letter of invitation and upon which we immediately approached the high court of justice in Plateau State and filed an action for the enforcement of his fundamental rights to personal liberty and fair hearing as enshrined in our constitution.
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“We have served the Inspector General of Police, Deputy Inspector General of Police, FCID, and the signatory of the said letter of invitation, one DCP Omar Mamman Sanda, by substituted means through the Commissioner of Police Plateau State command having obtained a court order to do so.
“We are praying the court to make a judicial pronouncement on the letter of invitation served on Dr Obadiah Mailafia; we are equally subjecting the invitation made by the office of the DIG, FCID, to Mailafia to appear for an interview on Monday under judical scrutiny.
“We strongly believe that it is significant to hear the decision of the court on these germane issues, and 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 Mailafia in the midst of an ongoing investigation by the DSS on a matter that is related to internal security.”
The counsel called on the police to desist from taking any action that was unlawful until the court made a pronouncement on the matter.
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