“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.” This is the sum of the ruling of Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, dismissing the suit seeking the removal of the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Mbu Joseph Mbu, from office over alleged abuse of powers.
The suit was filed by a lawyer, Mr Tope Alabi, and was specifically hinged on a statement allegedly made by Mbu, threatening to kill 20 civilians in place of a policeman that may be killed during the April general elections.
Delivering judgment in the suit, Buba said no court in Nigeria could declare the office of an officer of that rank vacant, rather it was the duty of the police to do so.
The trial judge after considering all the arguments in the case, said the case of Mr Tope Alabi has no merit and as such, dismissed it.
The suit, with number FHC/L/CS/149/15, was seeking a declaration that Mbu “is unfit to be a police officer in Nigeria.”
Alabi in the suit stated that Mbu, as a senior police officer, swore to uphold to the rule of law and abide by the constitution, but has allegedly behaved as if he was above the law.
However, Mbu, who is in charge of Zone 2, comprising Lagos and Ogun States, in his counter-affidavit denied ordering the police to kill 20 civilians in place of a policeman that may be killed during the general elections.
Mbu denied ever making the alleged statement, adding that he only ordered that any policeman shot by any person could shoot back in self defence.