Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) who was quizzed by the Department of State Services (DSS) a few days ago, was on Monday re-invited by the agency to its Jos headquarters. He however left the office after just about 45 minutes.
His invitation, which was the second time in five days, over an interview he granted to a radio station, Nigeria Info FM, where he alleged that a serving northern governor is one of the commanders of Boko Haram in Nigeria. However, unlike last week’s invitation where he was grilled for over six hours by the DSS, the former presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), who drove in at exactly 12.05pm in an ash-coloured Land Rover SUV marked ABUJA – ABC 843 LX, was released at about 1pm.
He was with his wife, Margaret, his lawyer who is the Plateau State Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Yakubu Bawa, and his surety, Rev. Gideon Para-Mallam. A former Plateau State Governor, Fidelis Tapgun, later came to join them after Mailafia had been released. According to him, “I have again been invited by the DSS. At the weekend, I was asked to come to their headquarters in Jos today. I don’t know the reason for the invitation.
“But as a good citizen of this country, I have to honour the invitation to know why I am being invited. I have to honour all their invitations to help them in their enquiries.” There was a barricade mounted by the DSS at its premises where journalists were not allowed to go beyond.
The DSS had issued a statement over the weekend, signed by its spokesman, Dr. Peter Afunanya, where it said it was condemnable that “Mailafia, who had profusely apologized during his first visit to its office for his ignoble statement, would afterwards announce to the world that he stood by his misguided eruption”. After his release on Monday, Mailafia refused to talk. He simply said: “I am told not to talk, but you can only talk to my lawyer.”
Speaking with reporters later as directed, his lawyer said that it was common knowledge that Mailafia had never failed to honour the DSS invitation, adding that his client was well treated and handled with decorum, dignity, respect and decency, which he said he was happy about. Bawa described his client as a man of peace who loves the country with passion, adding that he honoured the invitation based also on the security situation in the country.
He said that what took place between his client and the DSS inside their office was very fruitful, adding that the DSS has power to invite anybody when necessary specially to clear some grey areas of controversy. Asked whether the whole issue was over, Bawa said: “We won’t say it is over yet, but we pray it is over. Our meeting today with them (DSS) was a positive and wonderful meeting. My client told them that he did not run that interview, that he is a man of peace who is averse to crisis. There is no cause for alarm.”