Nigerian senior lawyers, civil society call for sack of controversial AIG Mbu

Joseph Mbu

As public outrage continues over the illegal arrest and detention of African Independent Television (AIT) reporter, Amaechi Anakwe, by Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG, Joseph Mbu, some senior lawyers in the country have called for the notorious police officer to be sacked.

Nigerians from all walks of life have expressed disgust over the many infractions committed by Mr. Mbu.

Among them are two legal practitioners and Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SAN, Itse Sagay and Mike Ozekhome.

In separate interviews with PREMIUM TIMES, the duo condemned Mr. Mbu’s ill treatment of Mr. Anakwe.

Similarly, a Port Harcourt-based civil society group, Doing Democracy Movement-Nigeria, DDM-N, has invited well-meaning Nigerians to join the campaign to get Mr. Mbu out of the Nigeria Police.

The DDM-N’s Convener, Anyakwe Nsirimovu, made this known while speaking with PREMIUM TIMES on the controversial arrest of the broadcast journalist.

Mr. Anakwe had described Mr. Mbu as “controversial” during an interview programme on the AIT and was subsequently arrested, detained and prosecuted on the orders of the troublesome cop.

But Mr. Sagay, a professor of law, said Mr. Mbu’s overreaching action exemplified the growing level of impunity and gross abuse of power exhibited by some public officers in Nigeria.

By using state power against innocent Nigerians, the senior legal practitioner insisted that Mr. Mbu is not fit to wear the uniform of the Nigerian Police.

“Mr. Mbu is not fit for the uniform he is wearing, therefore, he should be suspended and the Police Service Commission, PSC, should set up a disciplinary panel to try him for his offences against humanity and the constitution of this country,” he said.

“In a sane society where there is rule of law, Mr. Mbu should have been suspended for using state power to oppress law abiding citizens, abuse human rights and the constitutional rights of the people.”

Mr. Sagay explained that as a journalist, Mr. Anakwe has the right to make comments on the behavour of Mr. Mbu or any other Nigerian.

“A press man is privileged as far as making comments are concern. That is what journalists are engaged to do on behalf of society,” he said.

“If Mr. Mbu was dissatisfied, there is a law of defamation.  He should have gone to court but to use the powers meant for the arrest of criminals, to arrest an innocent professional doing his legitimate duty, clearly shows that not only is Mbu controversial, he is also unfit for the position he is occupying.”

Mr. Sagay insisted that Mr. Mbu is overdue for dismissal, saying that his conduct shows that he is more of a politician than a law enforcement officer.

The human rights activist said, “He (Mr. Mbu) is not a police officer. He is a power-drunk politician because others are not like that. He should have been removed long ago.”

On his part; Mr. Ozekhome, reeled out a litany of infractions committed by Mr. Mbu  and called on the Police Service Commission to constitute a panel to probe him.

He said it is appalling that after serving for years as a police officer and at the twilight of his career, Mr. Mbu could descend so low to the extent of taking the law into his own hands.

On his part, Mr. Ozekhome argued that Mr. Mbu should have conducted himself honourably and in a way that is acceptable not only to Nigerians but also to the Nigeria Police and the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“But his conduct so far,” he said, “has done a lot of damage to the image and credibility of the Nigeria Police and to the government of President Goodluck Joanthan,” he said.

He maintained that the antecedence of Mr. Mbu has shown that he is a police officer who is anti-people and always courting trouble.

Mr. Ozekhome revealed that it was Mr. Mbu, who, on July 10, 2003, led a team of policemen to abduct the then Governor of Anambra State, Chris Ngige, on the orders of a man he described as  a “political buccaneer” from the state.

While serving as commissioner of police in Oyo State, the legal practitioner said Mr. Mbu on February 11, 2013, deployed three armoured personnel carriers and policemen numbering over 250 and illegally sacked the Ashipa of Oyo Kingdom from his palace in Isele Oyo.

In the same year, he said the cop led the team of policemen that sacked the palace of the Olubadn of Ibadan.

Mr. Ozekhome further drew attention to Mr.  Mbu’s action while on posting to Rivers State as commissioner of police.

He maintained that Mr. Mbu’s conduct in Rivers State and his attack on unarmed campaigners of #BringBackOurGirls, are some of the most embarrassing actions of the infamous cop.

He said, “Now the straw that finally breaks Mbu’s back is the illegal, unconstitutional and mindless arrest and detention of Amaechi Anekwe, an innocent correspondent with the AIT.

“His alleged offence was that he (Mr. Anakwe) described him (Mr. Mbu) as controversial. If all the things Mbu has done are not controversial, I do not know what else would make an individual controversial.”

Also speaking, Mr. Nsirimovu noted that the action of the controversial AIG represented an abominable despotism and an agenda approved by the state to silence dissent voices as the 2015 polls approach.

“AIG Mbu,” he said, “without any shadow of doubt is testing the waters in preparation of the high-handedness that will ensue against critical voices of dissent, as we close in on the 2015 elections.”

While condemning what he described as “reprehensible barbarism in the age of improvement,” Mr. Nsirimovu said the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, UDHR, has guaranteed the freedom of speech and belief and the freedom from feat and want.

If Nigeria must achieve peace, given the precarious situation it has found itself, Mr. Nsirimovu said the government must seriously frown at any violation of the rule of law and punish people like Mr. Mbu, who engage in arbitrariness.

He drew attention to the UDHR’s preamble which states that “It is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law.”

Mr. Nsirimovu argued that free speech is an indispensable tool of self-governance in a democratic society and a means of participation in the processes of decision-making that shape the polity.

He argued that, “Freedom of thought, conscience, and expression are numinous values linked to the defining characteristics of the human person.”

Mr. Nsirimovu, therefore, insisted that the time has come for Nigeria to embrace the culture of an open society and free speech, regardless of individual or group ambition.

“Political participation is an avenue of individual fulfillment, and the dignity of the individual is enlarged by recognition of the right to participate in collective self-governance, which AIG Mbu continues to seriously deface with reckless abandon.

“A government structure that retains the likes of AIG Mbu with a record of persistent gross violations of human rights of citizens cannot be said to serve the interest and social welfare of its citizens.”


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  • Chris1408

    Mbu feels invincible and above the law because he’s supported by Aso Rock. He’s rewarded with a promotion for his atrocities in Rivers State. He’s a classic example of a “ZOMBIE”

    • the truth

      were you in rivers state to judge mbu? have you ever stepped foot in rivers state? or you base your story on what you are reading in anti government papers?

      • Chris1408

        Na wao, why are you supporting this thug in uniform? He’s a total disgrace to uniform service.

        • the truth

          my brother u mentioned rivers state. i am telling u first hand experience, this is not media ,i mean first hand personal experience. true rivers indigenes will tell you the same thing. amaechi really used the media to villify mbu. my brother if you have any friend, relative or close associate who stays in rivers state ask him the police force under mbu, how was it. if they are been sincere they would tell u the truth, but politicians use media houses to assasinate a character. mind you i am not defending mbu in abuja, i am talking about how he led in port harcourt

          • Nigerian

            Yes my friend Mr.”Neutral” ,there will come a day when you will defend Mbu’s stewardship in Abuja. I know you for your “neutrality” and “truthfulness”. It seems you choose to defend the power drunk AIG instead of addressing the issue in the news, isn’t it? Is it not better to say the truth and and stay neutral as you claim to do always? What do you say?

          • Oladapo Adesope

            Did you read the report above at all?..did you all the atrocities even before serving in Rivers?

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Many thanks, Dapo.

            I was just going to ask the same question!

            He didn’t.

          • I Hate Sycophant Truly

            Mr. Man you claimed Mr. Amaechi used the media to witchhunt Mbu but if I am correct, Mbu has been posted to two places after living Rivers and has committed same blunder against humanity, so who’s now vilifying him, the same Amaechi I presumed?

          • Island man

            The truth, or what you call your self, the wrath of God will fall on #jonaweed and his recharge cards supporters like you, Mbu needs to be tame by higher authorities but they all are kept mute to his power drunkenness ,soon all of you will beg God for mercies.

      • Nigerian

        My friend Mr.”the truth” can you kindly tell me where you come from in Nigeria? I hope you won’t mind.

        • the truth

          i am a nigerian, lets forget about my state

          • Nigerian

            My friend Mr. “The truth” I just want to know how authentic is your knowledge about Mbu’s activities in Rivers state. It seems you have taken side instead of being neutral as you claim to be.

  • King Carlos

    Its a pity that Jonathan has turned Nigeria upside-down. Where are the pastors that and the politicians that endorsed Jonathan in 2011, he knelt down in front of the pastor to be prayed for. So why can’t these so called people speak truth to power.

    With all these Mbu and co, no country will ever sell arms to Nigeria because the government itself is waging wat against the people. Only God can save us

    • the truth

      when you talk sometimes i begin to wonder your age instead of addressing issues head on or provide constructive criticisms, you castigate jonathan.mind you if this allegations are true to the latter mbu should be reprimanded, but before jonathan did all of this happen, or police brutality started under jonathan? can you sincerly tell me this events never happened in nigeria prior to 2011? in as much as we forumites want to contribute we should always strive to be objective rather than always in your case blame and blame. what is the solution? what is your candid advice on how this country would move forward? what were the precedents before now?

      • I Hate Sycophant Truly

        Now you’re blaming someone not addressing issue but are you also master of your own words. Tell me in all your comments where you’ve address the issue raised but you claimed in one of your comments that it was Amaechi that was using media to vilify Mbu. The piece said Mbu unlawfully arrested someone but in all your comments I’ve not seen where you condemn the atrocity but instead you’ve be taking side and tackling anyone that say anything contrary to your choicest individuals. You better change and be at the side of the masses or the wrath of God fall on you.

      • Peter Obanor

        The solution is to call a spade a spade, if we continue like this, most of these people will retrace their steps. Never support evil

      • King Carlos

        walahi u no get sense, so because it started before jonathan got to power, does that mean jonathan should maintain status quo? you are speaking the mind of ur paymasters who bought you recharge card so you can ridicule urself online. let me ask u, what is the outcome of being objective in an assessment? are you not gonna ascribe blame when you have analysed whats on ground objectively?

        you better go and work for fani kayode

      • Island man

        Nigeria solution for now is let #Jonaweed resign for some one else to rule us, that is the Candid solution for now moving forward, he has misruled us so far.

  • Truthometer

    Criminal in uniform. When the tide finally change, someone like Mbu and his paymasters should be hanged in the village square for their crimes against humanity.

    • blogNaija

      it’s not about AIT. anyone who goes against someone like Amaechi Anakwe really need mental examination in the way AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu did.

  • Tunde

    we can add culture of impunity and big man syndrome to the many acclaimed achievements of GEJ, because Mbu, or whatever he calls himself is only acting out based on the support he is getting from above. Has GEJ or any of his clown spokespeople come out and say anything about it? Hell Noooo. What is the IG doing? Has he said or addressed this? Hell Noooo. I wont hold my breadth that anything will come out of this.

    • Abel Wariboko

      No matter the campaign started by Gov.Amaechi of Rivers State, the record of service of Mbu is very. clear He did not start from PH. Most of cannot critically assess whatever information we get from politicians and the media. We are too sentimental and emotional, hence we often miss the point. Mbu has rights like any other Nigerian. If he felt offended the suspect can be invited for interrogation and subsequently taken to court. The courts decision will then be binding

      • Tunde

        Actually Abel Wariboko, he cannot invite anybody for interrogation unless a crime has been committed, and even if he does that, the person has the right to have a lawyer with him/her. Get your facts straight. Calling someone controversial is NOT a crime. I challenge you to state what crime the reporter committed to warrant detaining him. We are in a DEMOCRATIC dispensation, with the Rule of Law guiding us. Mbu not only abused his position, he actually committed a crime, its is called unlawful detention. This has nothing to do with sentiment or emotion. This is the reason Nigeria is descending further and further into the abyss, we allow people that are public servants behave like the same laws that they swore to uphold do not pertain to them. When do we draw the line? Mbu crossed the line and he needs to be taken to account. GEJ, as the president and leader needs to show leadership and set an example. He needs to come down hard on this power drunk buffoon otherwise we will continue to see things like this.

        • the truth

          mr tunde were in rivers state to judge mbu? or did you get your information from politicians view? true rivers indigenes know what mbu stood for and no matter how politicians use the media houses to vilify and assassinate a character, we all know the truth. wasn’t it the same amaechi at the start of mbu’s tenure praised him when pdp supporters were arrested. please if you do not know what really transpired please stop going with the media blow out.

          • Tunde

            the problem with sycophants like you is you are blind to the truth. I have not mentioned what happened in rivers. i was not in rivers state nor do I live in rivers state. I am talking specifically about the abuse of power in him detaining a reporter. that is symptomatic of the kind of mentality the guy has. you can defend him all you like, but as far as most sensible nigerians are concerned, the guy is a power drunk irresponsible and morally bankrupt man and he is a disgrace to the uniform. we are always castigating police officers for brutality, corruption,etc etc, why wont they behave like animals when one of thier ogas, who is meant to set an example is the one breaking the law with impunity. he behaves like he is God. That is the example he is setting.

      • Peter Obanor

        No, it’s unconstitutional to arrest someone for deformation of character, you sue him or her; just like gej threatened to sue for naming him 6th most richest African head of state . The gurus have spoken, prof Sagay is the best constitutional lawyer in Nigeria

      • Dr Chukwudinma Prime

        How many kobo were you paid by CP Mbu to defend him and his sponsors? I can offer you a well paid job, that’ll get you out of this political crumbs-hunting.. Inbox me you CV, please.

        • TRUE TALK

          Hahahaha, don’t mind d jobless Wariboko-haram. Tell him factory works are needed at Wahum Lagos. He shd apply. Olodo!

  • abdul

    God will punish you Mr ibu and the likes of you(mr ibu), GEJ you better stop humiliating Nigerians with the group of terrorist you keep. God will save our country from people like you and very soon, I said very soon it shall come to pass. We will kill you guys all and put a fresh Nigerians to rule us.

  • Danladee

    He first had an embarrassing clash with a democratically elected governor, Gov. Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, and now Amaechi Anakwe. I think Mr. Mbu is allergic to the name “Amaechi”. Shame!

  • Oladapo Adesope

    APC is vindicated

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  • Akpan

    Is lion a Nigerian professional police human being? Hymn The Nigerian Police Force what an embarrassment? Mr Mbu Joseph Mbu said to the world that he is a lion(animal or NPF), IGP may be the next if Mr MJM is not investigated and disciplined timely.