Police’s planned arrest of Babangida’s spokesperson ‘illegal’ – Falana

Femi Falana
Femi Falana [Photo credits: Newsbreakers]

A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has criticised the planned arrest and prosecution of Kassim Afegbua, the spokesperson of former head of state, Ibrahim Babangida.

In a statement Tuesday, Mr. Falana said by declaring Mr. Afegbua wanted when he had not failed to honour the invitation of the police, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has overreached himself.

“It is undoubtedly that it is the Inspector General of police who has defamed Mr. Afegbua by portraying him as a fugitive from the law,” said Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

“Therefore, Mr. (Ibrahim) Idris is advised to withdraw the offensive declaration without any further delay.”

Controversy had trailed a statement Mr. Afegbua issued on behalf of the former head of state on Sunday, advising Nigerians to reject President Muhammadu Buhari after his first time ends in 2019.

Shortly after, a counter statement was released purportedly by Mr. Babangida distancing himself from Mr. Afegbua’s statement but the former president’s spokesperson insisted he had the mandate of his principal before issuing the statement.

On Monday, the police declared Mr. Afegbua wanted defamation of character.

“Having regard to the facts and circumstances of the issuance of the public statement by Mr. Afegbua and the denial by General Babangida it ought to be pointed out that no criminal offence known to law has been committed to warrant the action of the Inspector General of Police,” said Mr. Falana.

“More so, that both General Babangida and President Buhari have not complained that the controversial press statement has defamed them.

“In fact, if the statement is considered defamatory whoever is injured would have to institute a civil suit where he will be required to put his own reputation in issue.”

On Monday, Thisday newspaper quoted Mr. Babangida as saying that he, indeed, authorised Mr. Afegbua’s statement.

Mr. Falana said since the retired general had admitted his authorisation of Mr. Afegbua to issue the controversial statement, he would, hopefully, be prepared to say so in a criminal court.

“His testimony will go a long way to destroy the criminal case which the Inspector-General intends to institute against Mr. Afegbua.

“However, the Inspector-General of Police should be advised not to popularise the discredited views of both Generals Olusegun Obasanjo and Ibrahim Babangida who failed woefully to institutionalise democracy, rule of law, human rights, self reliance and probity during the 20 years that both of them had ruled the country.”


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  • Jon

    IG is a novice to rule of law. He needs to be tutored on laws guarding freedom of speech. IG wants to please the radical Islamic Jihadist, serving as Nigerian President, who, does not know better either. So, both should be tutored on the fundamentals rules of law governing freedom of speech and the workings of democracy.

  • Okokondem

    This has nothing to do with the law; this is a flagrant abuse of power that most discerning Nigerians should condemn forcefully. What I’m struggling to understand is why Babangida wouldn’t be out there forcefully defending this poor fellow. What is wrong with this country.


      Falana comes across as a cunning politropos lawyer, clandestinely representing Buhari in all matters.

      The unsuspecting public listens, even some victims of Buhari such as El Zakzaky are blindsided by his gimmicks and retain him as a civil/human rights advocate, only to end up betrayed by his utterances and public postures.

      As here, Falana has eviscerated the only good deeds to come from IBB and Obasanjo in a long time.

  • Vi

    The Police is Partisan – In Nigeria it is.
    President Donald Trump gets daily doses of overwhelming disapproval and name calling even directly on he’s twitter feed.

    Turn on Msnbc or CNN right now – I bet you, they’re talking about the President or something he’s related in.

    But not in the Black African Country called Nigeria. The people meant to uphold the law are the very ones breaking it.

    I’m not sympathetic toward the PDP but Former President Goodluck Jonathan stated all of this would happen.

    What was inciteful about the statement?
    Did people come out en masse to protest violently?

    This is what I have come to understand. The law, in Nigeria does not favour the weak.

    It only works for tyrants, boko haram, herdsmen, militants etc… Because the government tends to offer you financial amnesty programs.

    But for those who don’t carry guns, they are quick to suffocate. Ipob didn’t carry weapons demanding for a separate state yet they were treated like Terrorists. No matter how much you try, the truth will always be revealed.

    No love in the land, divisions and tribal dishonesty. The institutions set in place to be devoid of these emotions sadly are not living up to half of their expectations.

    It is really a sad time to be Nigerian. The people who support this lawlessness have one or more vested interests.

    Your actions today will only cause more violent groups to erupt. You cannot suppress truth forever. So what are you policing? Selfish interests is what it is.

  • Frank Bassey

    The people are just exposing themselves to ridicule.