Court Dismisses Mailafia’s Application to Stop Police Investigation

Obadiah Mailafia

By Seriki Adinoyi

The suit filed by the former Deputy Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dr. Obadiah Mailafia at the Plateau State High Court to restrain the Nigeria Police from investigating him was dismissed yesterday for lacking in merit, as the court ruled that the Police have the constitutional power to investigate him.

Mailafia had approached the court on the premise that the Nigerian Police have no right to invite him for interrogations on the same subject that the Department of State Services (DSS) had earlier invited him.

The former Deputy Governor of CBN is being interrogated by the DSS over his outburst on the insecurity in the Northern part of the country and Nigeria as a whole, when he said that a serving northern governor was a leader of the Boko Haram.

As the interrogation continued with the DSS, the Criminal Investigation Department of the Force Headquarters also invited him, prompting Mailafia to approach the court.

But yesterday, the Plateau State High Court 5 presided over by Justice Arum Ashom ruled that although the DSS has the right to invite Mailafia over the matter concerning internal security, the police also have the right to invite him for questioning as well on the same subject.

Justice Ashom held that the double invitation by both the DSS and the police on the same issue did not amount to double jeopardy as moved by the applicant’s counsel.

But the counsel to Mailafia, Mr. Yakubu Bawa, who is also the state Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) said the ruling was apt.

He added that he had to brief his client before knowing whether to appeal the ruling or not.

Bawa had argued that the invitation of his client by the police after he had honoured that of the DSS was illegal, unlawful, unconstitutional, and ultra-vires to his fundamental right and a duplication of security details on the same issue.

He had also argued that the invitations were a violation of the applicant’s right of freedom of speech as he was commenting on the national issue as an indigene of Southern Kaduna where there were killings, genocide and banditry.

He said that his client merely granted an interview to a local FM station in Lagos which he said went viral.