The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has ordered the immediate arrest of Kassim Afegbua, media aide to former military President, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida.
Afegbua is wanted for allegedly making false statements, injurious falsehood, defamation of character and for act capable of inciting public disturbance.
A statement by the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), Jimoh Moshood on Monday in Abuja, said Afegbua should report to the nearest police station in the country.
Afegbua in a purported statement, quoted Babangida as asking President Muhammadu Buhari not to seek re-election.
But the former President denied the claim by the aide in a statement he personally signed.
However, Afegbua has absolved himself of any wrongdoing.
He said he would turn himself in to the authorities by Wednesday and was prepared to fight his ordeal in courts.
Afegbua released the Sunday statement which Babangida, used to complain about President Muhammadu Buhari’s shortcomings and advised Nigerians on the path to the future.
Hours after the statement was released, a counter press release emerged that purportedly had Babangida’s approval.
Afegbua’s lawyer said that Afegbua “is a well-known journalist and was a cabinet member of Edo State Government with a known address in Benin, Edo State and Abuja, yet he is not on notice of the police invitation whatsoever, before the purported publication declaring him wanted.”
Kayode Ajulo & Co. in Abuja, acting as counsel, said: “For the avoidance of doubt, there are spelt-out procedures for declaring a person wanted by the police. The police or other law enforcement agencies can declare a person wanted if they find reasons to do so, particularly if the person is a suspect in the commission of a crime and is on the run.
“The public must know that our client, in discharging his duty to his principal, General Ibrahim Babangida, GCFR cannot by any stretch of the imagination be said to have committed a crime that warrants such negative publicity. Neither is he on the run.
“Our client, however, remains undeterred by the desperate efforts of some individuals to intimidate him and bend his will and rights against the Constitution provisions, framework of Nigeria Police Force Act and the laws of the land.
“The circumscription of his constitutional right to the dignity of self, freedom of expression and fair hearing denotes that there is a desperate attempt to scare him into submission,” the statement said.
Afegbua would turn himself in when he returns from a trip by Wednesday, his lawyers said.