LAGOS – Mr Joseph Mbu, the Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG) in charge of Zone 2, comprising Lagos and Ogun States, on Wednesday denied issuing orders to policemen to kill civilians.
The AIG made the denial in a counter-affidavit to a suit filed by a lawyer, Mr Tope Alabi, at a Federal High Court in Lagos, seeking his removal from office.
Mbu, in the counter-affidavit deposed to on his behalf by Olugbemiga Adeoye, claimed that he only ordered policemen to defend themselves in case of any attack.
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The AIG averred that the newspaper publication containing the said allegation was “completely false, exaggerated, twisted and totally quoted out of context.”
“The true position is that during the official tour and briefing of police officers at Lagos and Ogun States’ Commands, Mbu, directed every police officer to be law abiding.
“They should be hardworking and wake-up to their constitutional/statutory duties and respect every citizen’s legal rights in the course of the performance of their duties and that any policeman shot by any person, that such policeman could shoot back in self defence.”
The defendants in the suit are: the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba; the Police Service Commission and the Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke.
The applicant had urged the court to order the removal of Mbu for alleged abuse of powers.
At the resumed hearing on Wednesday, counsel to the applicant, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), moved the originating summons and urged the court to grant the prayers sought.
Mr Chukwu Agu, who is the legal officer in charge of Zone 2 police command, however, urged the court to dismiss the suit with substantial cost.
Agu further urged the court not to rely on newspapers’ publications tendered as exhibit to the suit because they contained unverified and uncertified facts.
Justice Ibrahim Buba, after entertaining arguments from both sides, adjourned the case to March 27, for judgment.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in the substantive suit, the plaintiff is seeking a declaration that the first defendant, Mbu, “is unfit to be a police officer in Nigeria.”
The plaintiff prayed the court to direct the Inspector General of Police, the Police Service Commission and the Attorney General of the Federation, to declare Mbu’s office vacant and replace him without further delay.
Alabi said that Mbu, as a senior police officer, swore to uphold to the rule of law and abide by the constitution, but which he now abused by the said directive. (NAN)