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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

2019: SSS Invites Babangida’s Spokesman, Kassim Afegbua

The State Security Service has invited Kassim Afegbua, the spokesperson of Ibrahim Babangida, to appear before it, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

The invitation came via a telephone call from the secret police and it asked Mr. Afegbua to be at its headquarters no later than 11 a.m. Thursday, both Mr. Afegbua and his lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, told PREMIUM TIMES Wednesday night.

The invitation comes hours after Mr. Afegbua turned himself in at the Force Headquarters in Abuja after the police declared him wanted for writing a disputed statement on behalf of Mr. Babangida, who led a military junta that ruled Nigeria from 1985 to 1993.

Mr. Afegbua signed the statement for Mr. Babangida on Sunday, in which the former military ruler expressed his misgivings about President Muhammadu Buhari and called for a younger leader to emerge in 2019.

“We will honour the (SSS) invitation by tomorrow morning,” Mr. Ajulo told PREMIUM TIMES by telephone Wednesday night. “We will be there, if that is how they want to run this country, we’ll see how far they can go with this.”

Mr. Afegbua’s ordeal in the hands of federal authorities had been strongly condemned by civic organisations, including Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer, who warned the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to immediately back off the matter because it infringes on Mr. Afegbua’s rights.

The authorities have not been able to answer questions of whether Mr. Babangida filed any complaint against Mr. Afegbua, or what parts of the statement Mr. Afegbua signed were capable of inciting the public as the police alleged.

Mr. Afegbua said Mr. Babangida remained solidly behind him and that the former leader had been making efforts to ensure that no injuries would be inflicted on him by federal authorities.

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