My Sins Are Not Too Many; Says Nigeria’s Most Controversial Police Officer, AIG Mbu

Mbu Joseph Mbu, formally bowed out of the force on Saturday after 31 years in service, with an appeal to the Nigerian media not to exaggerate his “sins” and those of his colleagues.

Officers and men bided Mbu goodbye at a stepping-down ceremony at the Police Staff College, Jos.

The assistant inspector-general of police, who enrolled into the force in 1985, was commandant of the college until he was suddenly retired along with 20 other colleagues on July 1.

At the ceremony, Mr. Mbu described his service years as
fulfilling and urged officers in service to always eschew ‘eye service’ in the discharge of their duties.

But Mbu himself is believed to have engaged in excessive ‘eye service’ to please Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience, in the last government while he was commissioner of police in Rivers and Abuja.

 Mbu and his wife.

Defending himself, Mbu said: “I am privileged as a police officer to head various formations and commands, including the political capital, Abuja, and the economic capital, Lagos.

“Other formations and commands I headed as commissioner of police include the Directorate of Police Education, Mobile Force, Oyo, Rivers.

“I was also the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 7, Abuja, Zone 2, Lagos and also the Elite College, the highest Police institution in Nigeria.”

He begged the media not to over-flog his “sins” and that of other officers and men in the course of duty, but seek and understand their peculiar circumstances and work as partners to ensure peace and sanity.

Mr. Mbu, who once described himself as a “radical rebel” and a “lion”, has now left Nigeria Police without achieving his ambition of becoming the Inspector-General of Police, having told officers and men of the Ogun State Police Command on February 12, 2015 that he was working hard to get to the top of the police hierarchy.

Funny enough, at the Jos event, he was sober and perhaps remorseful. He did not roar like a lion or sound his usual boastful manner, violent or dictatorial. Rather, he spoke gently, and penitently.

According to PT, in the past three years, Mr. Mbu had gained notoriety as a brutal, partisan and medieval police officer who had no regard for professionalism and human rights.

The retired AIG bounced to national prominence in 2013 after he was posted to Rivers as police commissioner. The then governor, Rotimi Amaechi, soon accused him of partisanship, saying he had taken sides with Patience Jonathan and her husband, who were fighting him.

At a point, Amaechi petitioned the National Human Rights Commission, accusing Mbu of orchestrating a “grave and deteriorating human rights situation” in the state, and requesting the commission to use its “legal power and competencies” to salvage the strategic security formation, infrastructures and networks in the state allegedly compromised by Mbu through his ‘influenced’ actions.

In Abuja, controversies continued to swirl around Mbu.

In June 2014, the #BringBackOurGirls campaign group sued him after he announced a ban on their protests in the Nigerian capital.

The group has been holding daily sit-ins since May 2014 to demand that government does more to free the over 250 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram from the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, in April 2014. But Mr. Mbu moved to halt the daily peaceful gathering.

In October that year, Justice S.E Aladetoyinbo of an Abuja High Court ruled that the police did not have the right to ban protests, saying while citizens were mandated to notify security agencies before protesting, they were not obliged to obtain permission from the police to stage protests.

But shortly after that case was resolved, Mr. Mbu courted controversy again. He ordered that a journalist with AIT, Amaechi Anaekwe, be detained for describing him as controversial on a TV programme. Amaechi was only released after the police headquarters compelled Mr. Mbu free him.

While several Nigerians, who considered him barbaric and an embarrassment to the police, continued to call for his retirement from the police, the Goodluck Jonathan government rewarded him with promotion to the rank of AIG and deployed him to Lagos as AIG in charge of Zone 2.

While in Lagos, Mr. Mbu still attracted controversy to himself like bee to honey.

In fact, the Nigerian Labour Congress, once described Mbu as a serial embarrassment to the police.