…Na’Abba, Utomi, others threaten ‘major mass action’
A former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Obadiah Mailafia, yesterday cried out over the unending invitations and interrogations by the Department of State Security (DSS), and the Nigeria Police, at the same time, alleging that, “some silent forces were out to silence him”. His position emerged on a day the National Consultative Front (NCFront), spearheaded by a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Umar Na’Abba and former presidential candidate, Prof. Pat Utomi, criticised the third invitation extended to him by the DSS.
The NCFront had also threatened “a major mass action” should anything happen to its leaders and associates, including Mailafia. Mailafia had last month said some repentant Boko Haram members told him that a serving state governor from the northern part of the country is a commander of the terrorist group. Following the statement, DSS invited him twice, just as the Nigeria Police was also said to be investigating him. Mailafia, while reacting to another invitation to him by the DSS, the third time within four weeks, said the authorities are putting him in double jeopardy and described the development as abuse on his fundamental rights. He said: “It is true. I have been invited to their office in Jos. I was asked to appear at 11am on Monday.
“This is in addition to our battle in court, as my lawyer appears before a Jos High Court yesterday, September 11, seeking a restraining order against the DIG Criminal Investigations Department (CID) who are also pursuing me. “I spent over 20 years of my working life abroad as a university teacher, banker and international civil servant with unblemished record.
“I have no criminal record — not even a parking ticket. Sadly, it is in my own fatherland that I’m being subjected to criminal investigation and such extreme political persecution. “Please, pray for me. I have reasons to believe that my life is in danger and that some powerful political forces want to silence me forever for speaking the truth. “For speaking on behalf of the Holy Martyrs — of thousands of innocent children, women, elderly and youths that have been killed in our beloved country.” Meanwhile, the organisation called on the government to refrain from further harassment of Mailafia and its other leaders by cautioning security agencies.
A statement issued by the group’s Head of Public Affairs Bureau and former presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party, Tanko Yunusa, said the invitation scheduled for Monday in Jos would be coming on the heels of a similar one by the Nigerian Police which is currently being contested in court.
The statement partly read: “We demand that nothing untoward should happen to any of our leaders and associates to avoid a major mass action. The NCFront believes in the right of every Nigerian to freely express themselves in civil society especially in a democracy as enshrined in the universal fundamental principles of human rights.”