Falana takes over suit seeking removal of controversial Police AIG Joseph Mbu

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday ordered the service of court papers on the Police Service Commission in Abuja in a suit seeking declaration that an Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu, is unfit to remain a police officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The ex parte application for leave of court to serve the PSC outside of jurisdiction was brought before Justice Ibrahim Buba by a Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN).

Falana had on Thursday appeared in court and announced appearance as counsel representing the plaintiff, a lawyer, Mr. Tope Alabi, who filed the case.

Alabi is urging the court to compel the Inspector General of Police; the Police Service Commission and the Attorney General of the Federation to immediately declare Mbu’s office with the Force vacant over alleged abuse of power.

The plaintiff’s legal action against the AIG stemmed from a recent order reportedly given by Mbu to the police officers of the Ogun State Police Command to kill 20 civilians for any police officer killed during the general elections.

Alabi is contending that Mbu, having sworn to uphold the rule of law and abide by the Constitution, acted in contravention of Section 308 (1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution, when he gave such an order to his men.

According to the lawyer, such an utterance, which was widely reported in the national dailies was “capable of inciting mass killings, violence and anarchy,” in the country.

At the hearing of the case on Thursday, Falana, after announcing appearance, brought the ex parte application to the notice of the court.

He said, “My Lord, we have a motion for leave to serve the third respondent outside jurisdiction.”

The plaintiff also filed three other applications which have not been heard.

They are a motion for interim injunction restraining Mbu from giving any orders to officers under him during the general elections pending the hearing of the plaintiff’s motion for interlocutory injunction.

The motion for interlocutory injunction is seeking to restrain Mbu from giving any orders pending the hearing of the substantive suit.

The plaintiff also has a pending application seeking to abridge the time within which the suit will be heard and determined in view of its urgency.

Credit: Ramon Oladimeji/Punch