The suit seeking the sacking of an Assistant Inspector General of Police, Mr. Joseph Mbu, as a police officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was on Friday stalled as the presiding judge, Justice Ibrahim Buba was absent.
The judgement which was earlier slated for Friday at the Federal High Court in Lagos has however been rescheduled judgment till March 31.
A lawyer, Mr. Tope Alabi, had urged the court to order the Inspector General of Police, Suleiman Abba, to immediately sack Mbu over alleged abuse of power.
Alabi’s legal action against Mbu stemmed from a recent order reportedly given by Mbu to the police officers of the Ogun State Police Command, on February 12, to kill 20 civilians for any policeman 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 and was therefore no longer fit to remain a police office of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
According to the lawyer, such an utterance, which was widely reported in the national dalies was “capable of inciting mass killings, violence and anarchy,” in the country.
But Mbu, through his lawyer, Mr. Chukwu Agwu, has urged the court to disregard and dismiss the plaintiff’s call to sack him, saying “the court cannot be used as a playground by a professional litigant who has no stake in the subject matter.”
Describing the plaintiff’s case as baseless and unmeritorious, Agwu said Mbu was quoted out of context, adding that the court could not rely on “a mere newspaper publication,” which had no video evidence, to accede to the prayer to sack Mbu.
Agwu, who said he was physically present with Mbu when he made the alleged statement at Abeokuta in Ogun State on February 12, 2015, said emphatically that Mbu “did not direct any police officer or person(s) to violate the rights of innocent Nigerians in Lagos, Ogun State or any place at all.”