Court Dismisses Suit Seeking Mbu’s Sack

MbuJustice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court in Lagos has dismissed the suit seeking to sack Mbu Joseph Mbu, assistant inspector general of Police over his alleged abuse of power.

In his ruling on Tuesday, Buba said no court in Nigeria can declare the office of a police officer of the rank of AIG vacant, saying that such action was the responsibility of the Nigeria Police.

“If any threat is made against any person, it is the duty of the police to investigate and punish the officer who made it accordingly, even if it is an AIG.

“No court in Nigeria can declare the office of such officer vacant; it is the duty of the police,” he said.

Buba said that the case of the plaintiff had no merit and was therefore dismissed.

In the substantive suit numbered FHC/L/CS/149/15,Tope Alabi, the plaintiff,who is also a lawyer is seeking a declaration that the first defendant, Mbu, “is unfit to be a police officer in Nigeria.”

Alabi hinged his prayers before the court on an alleged statement by Mbu, in which he threatened to kill 20 civilians in place of a murdered policeman during the April general elections.

The plaintiff had asked the court to direct relevant police authorities to declare Mbu’s office vacant and replace him, without further delay.

The second to fourth defendants were Suleiman Abba, the then Inspector General of Police, the Police Service Commission and Mohammed Adoke, attorney general of the federation.

Alabi had said that Mbu, as a senior police officer, swore to uphold the rule of law and abide by the constitution, but instead, behaved as if he was above the law. Femi Falana (SAN), counsel to the applicant, had in his originating summons, urged the court to grant the prayers sought by his client.

But Mbu, who is in charge of Zone 2, comprising Lagos and Ogun states, in his counter-affidavit, denied ordering the police to kill civilians in place of any policeman killed during the elections.

The counter-affidavit was deposed to on Mbu’s behalf by a policeman, Olugbemiga Adeoye.

Mbu denied ever making the alleged statement, and added that he only ordered that any policeman shot by any person could shoot back in self-defence.

Mbu averred that the newspaper publication containing the said allegation was “completely false, exaggerated, twisted and totally quoted out of context.”

Adeoye said that he was at the briefing where Mbu made the alleged statement.

Adeoye noted that to the contrary, “the true position is that during the official tour and briefing of police officers at Lagos and Ogun state Commands, Mbu directed every police officer to be law- abiding.

“Mbu urged us to work hard and wake up to our constitutional/statutory duties, and that we must respect every citizen’s rights in the course of the performance of our duties.

“He advised us that any policeman shot by any person could shoot back in self-defence.”

However Chukwu Agu, legal officer-in-charge of Zone 2 Police Command, urged the court to dismiss the suit with substantial cost.

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