Dr. Obadiah Mailafia
By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Jos — Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, on Monday, failed to honour an invitation from the office of the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Force Criminal Investigation Department.
Dr. Mailafia was on Friday, August 21, invited to appear at the Force Headquarters of the Nigeria Police, Abuja, on Monday, for criminal investigation.
Mailafia had, on Friday evening, confirmed the police invitation, saying: “Yes, the Police were in my house this afternoon.
“At first, they looked intimidating but they told me they brought a letter. I am being summoned to be at the Force Headquarters on Monday for criminal investigation.”
Recall that the former CBN Deputy Governor had in the last two weeks been a guest, twice, of the Department of State Services, DSS, over allegations he made on the security situation in the country.
Mailafia had, during a radio programme two weeks ago, claimed that repentant Boko Haram members had revealed to him that a serving Northern governor was a commander of the group.
He was first invited by DSS for questioning on August 12, and was grilled for about six hours before his release.
On August 17, he was again invited by the DSS, where he spent about 40 minutes before he was released.
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But giving insight into why Dr. Mailafia did not honour Monday’s police invitation, Yakubu Bawa, on behalf of his legal team, told journalists in Jos that the Police invitation did not only come to the former CBN deputy governor in photocopy, but the said invitation was also being challenged in the court and all relevant parties had been served.
According to Bawa, “Dr. Obadiah Mailafia granted an interview to a local radio station on August 9, 2020 on issues related to the internal security of Nigeria.
“His interview focused on the incessant killings and ethnic cleansing in his homeland of Southern Kaduna and nationwide insecurity.
“Consequent upon the said interview, DSS, Plateau State Command, on the directive of the DSS Headquarters, Abuja, invited Dr. Mailafia through his employer, National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, to appear before the Command on August 12, 2020 at 1200hrs for interview, investigation and interrogation.
“Dr. Obadiah Mailafia honoured the said invitation, on the August 12, 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 the same time to apologise. 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. 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 six hours of interview.
“In the same vein, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia was re-invited to appear before the DSS Plateau State Command on August 17, 2020. The surety and I accompanied Dr. Mailafia to the DSS office, Jos Plateau State Command, that day.
“Similarly, he had another interaction with the Director of the Command for about 40 minutes, after which he was allowed to go home.
“It is sad to note and to our greatest shock and consternation on August 21, 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, August 24, 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 the same time challenging the said invitation served on him by the office of the DIG Force Criminal Investigation Department, Abuja.
“We are praying the 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 September 11, 2020.”