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Sunday, March 26, 2023

Joseph Mbu, Ex-police Chief Charged With Murder

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The Cross River government has charged retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Joseph Mbu, with murder.

According to the charge sheet at the Cross River State High Court, Mr Mbu was to give account of the events that took place on December 24, 2018 which led to the death of Ayuk Etta Ngon.

“Mbu will give an answer to what happened on December 24, 2018 at Ndung Stream Road, Bendegbe Ekiem where Ngon was murdered,” stated the charge sheet.

“Mbu will give an answer to what happened on December 24, 2018 at Ndung Stream Road, Bendegbe Ekiem where Ngon was murdered,” it said.

The case is before Justice Samuel Anjoh.

Mr Joseph Mbu, infamous for his role in Rivers politics during ex-Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s administration, had once described himself as a “radical rebel” and a “lion.”

His service years as a police chief was said to be marred by brutality, partisanship, and violations of human rights.

The Cross River government which filed the suit (HC/40C/2021) through the Department of Public Prosecution, alleged the retired AIG shot Mr Ngon to death, an act “contrary to Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap C16, Vol. 3, Laws of Cross River State of Nigeria 2004.” Mr Mbu’s legal counsel, Agan Teke, argued that investigations had not been conducted into the case, hence the matter could not be presented before a court of law.

He also challenged the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.

“We are challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter because the alleged crime was said to have been committed in Etung local government area. The Etung judicial division has a high court, so, why bringing it to Calabar judicial division?” argued his lawyer.

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Mr Teke added, “The second issue is that necessary investigation has not been conducted before the prosecution decided to bring the matter to court. The information presented by the prosecution is defective in substance.”

According to Mr Teke, the substituted mode of service is unacceptable and “there is nothing to show that there was any attempt to serve the retired AIG in his house or even to look for him.”

Barrister C.A Adams, the prosecution counsel countered the claims noting the Cross River government and DPP had the position to file a suit against any person or individual regardless of a police investigation.

On the issue of jurisdiction, Mr Adams said the court was the same and the prosecution reserved the right to go the court that suited them.

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