The Afenifere Renewal Group, a Yoruba socio-political group, has petitioned the Police Service Commission demanding the redeployment of controversial police officer, Joseph Mbu, from Lagos.
In a letter dated February 20, sent to the Inspector-General of Police, Secretary to Government of the Federation, Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Police Affairs, the group also demanded that Mr. Mbu, an Assistant Inspector of Police, be disciplined.
“We reckon that the Police Service Commission is vested with the power to ‘dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over persons (other than the Inspector-General of Police) in the Nigeria Police Force,'” the ARG said in the petition signed by Ayo Afolabi, its General Secretary.
“Therefore, we demand, in accordance with the manifest desires of our people, that: 1. AIG Mbu be redeployed from Zone 2 with immediate effect and (2) He should be made to face appropriate disciplinary action (s).”
Zone 2 comprises of Lagos and Ogun Police Commands.
Mr. Mbu, the newly-posted AIG in charge of Zone 2, has courted controversy for months with his comments, and has frequently clashed with politicians, civil society activists, and journalists.
Last month, while addressing police officers of the Ogun State Command, Mr. Mbu instructed them to be battle-ready to return “fire for fire” against politicians during the elections.
“If one of my men is killed, I shall kill 20 of them but don’t shoot first. If they shoot you, shoot back in self-defence. Anybody who fires you, fire him back in self-defence,” Mr. Mbu, a former Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, said.
Few weeks later, Mr. Mbu issued a recantation, and claimed the media misquoted him. He claimed to have merely advise “his policemen not to be cowardly but to be guided by Force Order 237 on the use of their firearms”.
But before then, a Lagos-based lawyer, Tobe Alabi, had filed a suit before a federal high court seeking the dismissal of the police officer.
According to Mr. Alabi, Mr. Mbu had abused his office and is no longer fit to be a police officer.
The ARG’s petition backed the lawyer’s claim, insisting that Mr. Mbu is “genuinely unfit” to police the zone according to established laws, professionalism, and global best practices.
“AIG Mbu’s intention, as portrayed by his statements above, is, until repudiated, that of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the group said.
“This is more worrisome because AIG Mbu’s language is similar to those of ex-militants who, without any restrain, have been threatening the entire country with war.”
The group further said that Mr. Mbu’s utterances and conducts, rather than seek cooperation from the public, had shown disregard for law and order and constituted authority.
The group also said that Mr. Mbu’s intention, as portrayed by his statements, has eroded the people’s trust in the integrity and professionalism of the Police under him.
“It is important, in order to restore citizens’ trust in the Nigeria Police, that your action(s) on this petition should comply with the Nigeria Police Code of Conduct.”