Politics

FG persists with disdain for public outcry as SSS invites Afegbua

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The State Security Service (SSS) has invited Kassim Afegbua, spokesperson to former head of state Ibrahim Babangida, to appear before it.

The SSS invitation which was said to have come via a telephone call from the secret police, asked Afegbua to be at its headquarters no later than 11 a.m. Thursday.

Afegbua and his lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, confirmed the development to Premium Times Wednesday night.

The invitation comes hours after Afegbua turned himself in at the Force Headquarters in Abuja following his being declared wanted by the police for writing a disputed statement on behalf of  Babangida similar to former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s explosive open letter in which he rated President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership low and advised him to seek re-election.

Afegbua signed the statement for Babangida released to the public last Sunday.

A counter statement was released a few hours after Afegbua circulated his signed statement to the media. The second statement was distributed by PRNigeria, a public relations firm, and had Babangida as the signatory.

The PRNigeria’s version was a lot more subtle in its observations about the Buhari administration, but maintained that it was time for new generation leadership in Nigeria.

Babangida however openly acknowledged authorising the first statement signed by Afegbua in an interview with THISDAY Sunday night.

Read also: Babangida’s spokesman, Afegbua, turns himself in for police interrogation

The police still went ahead and declared Afegbua wanted on Monday evening, to which he responded and appeared at the Force Headquarters with his lawyers Wednesday morning.

After spending about 25 minutes in a closed-door discussion with the commissioner for police in charge of Inspector-General Monitoring Unit, as well as the head of legal department at the Force Headquarters, Afegbua was released without charges.

But while his lawyers were said to be considering whether to continue or withdraw a fundamental rights suit of up to N1 billion in damages they had filed against the police on Tuesday, the invitation from the SSS came in.

“We will honour the (SSS) invitation by tomorrow morning,” Ajulo said 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”, he added.

Many Nigerians and rights advocates who have been shocked by the initial development involving the police and have expressed their strong objection, would be even more perplexed that the government would elect to continue on a path widely deemed anti-democratic and an affront to the fundamental right of free speech.

 

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