Kassim Afegbua, the media aide to former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, on Wednesday visited the Force Headquarters, Abuja, in connection with the order to his arrest by the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
Afegbua, who arrived at Louis Edet House at 10.32am in company with his wife and lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, was dressed in a blue stripe suit.
Speaking with newsmen before entering the building, the former Edo State cabinet member, said IBB, phoned him to express surprise at the development, adding that the statement for which the police wanted to quiz him over, was written on the directives of the former military dictator.
He said, “It would even interest you that when I was declared wanted on Channels TV and NTA, he (IBB) was the one who called me and said, why are they declaring you wanted, are you a criminal?
“We laughed over it, he said ‘are you on the run, have they given you an invitation?,’ I said no. He said that was interesting. Who is complaining? He said he read in the news that I was wanted for defamation of character, he said whose character have you defamed?’
“I am very much in touch with him, I am not doing anything out of the blues, this is a man I have been with for the past 14 years. I am only here (Force Headquarters) because I was declared wanted, am not a fugitive.”
Afegba added, “As a responsible Nigerian, I feel it is unwise on the part of the police to declare me wanted when I have not been formally invited, so I am here to present myself.”
He explained that he sued the police, Channels TV and NTA for N1bn for infringing on his rights and defaming him.
Afegbua, however, added that he had directed his lawyer to withdraw the claims against Channels TV and NTA.
Speaking after his interaction with the police authorities, the former journalist explained that he had a chat with the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Legal and IG Monitoring Unit officers, adding that they told him he was not under arrest.
He stated that they apologised for declaring him wanted, noting that the men attributed the development to “miscommunication.”
Afegbua said, “I wasn’t under arrest, the police said there was a miscommunication. I went to the office of the DCP Legal and interacted with the IG Monitoring Unit. They apologised to me and said I wasn’t under arrest; I spent about two hours and left.”
He explained that the police informed him that there was a mix-up in the statements he issued on behalf of the ex-dictator.
Ajulo corroborated his client, stating that the police attributed the order to arrest Afegbua to what they called “a mix up”.
The lawyer explained that his client did not write any statement or undergo interrogation, noting that the force explained that the arrest warrant against Afegbua was due to “miscommunication”.
“My client did not write any statement and he was not interrogated. The police attributed everything to miscommunication and they apologised to him,” he stated.
On whether he would withdraw the case against the force, Ajulo said, “This is about counsel/client communication. We would return to my office and appraise the situation and the needful shall be done.”
Idris on Monday ordered Afegbua’s arrest for “making false statements, defamation of character, and for an act capable of inciting public disturbance.”
The order of the media aide followed two statements purportedly written by Babangida, which bordered on the 2019 elections, herdsmen/farmers’ crisis and other issues plaguing the nation.