BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Following the resumption of the Murder charge preferred against a former Assistant Inspector General of Police, AIG Joseph Mbu by the Department of Public Prosecution in Cross River State,the accused has been involved in legal tango with the state over issues of jurisdiction and service
At a resumed sitting today at a Calabar High Court presided over by Justice Samuel Anjoh, Counsel to the Respondent/Defendent Barr. Ana said the Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the matter since the said offence was committed outside of the current court venue, Calabar.
Barr. Ana had requested the court to revert Ikom High Court which is the proper jurisdiction since the alleged crime was committed in Etung in Ikom judicial jurisdiction.
On the issue of service,the Defendant’s Counsel said during an interview with Journalists that though the service was through substituted means,but was short of standard.
According to him, “serving the accused at the Effraya Town Hall was not the proper thing to do. For a man who stays in Abuja and only visits home,he would have been served where he would see and not at a town hall or court complex”.
He however mentioned that the former AIG was only putting up appearance in Court because of the information available to him by the Department of Public Prosecution,DPP.
He urged that the court grant his prayers to also allow the Police do a thorough investigation is the matter before prosecution stating that that is another area he was challenging in his motion against the Prosecution.
Prosecution Counsel,C.A Adama decline comments on his counter motion to the position of the Defence by the AIG,but the available sources on Court privy to the documents had mentioned that the counter motion alluded to the fact that the Calabar High Court can entertain the matter and that the issue of service was properly done while available information from the DPP could equally stand as evidential proof as a Police report.
It would be recalled that the former AIG,Mbu was dragged to court in June 2021 for allegedly killing one Ayuk Etta Ngon from Etung Local Government Area.
Mbu’s prosecution,the Director of Public Prosecution,Mr. F.I Ititim said followed a petition to the Attorney General of the State where he was alleged to have killed the said Ngon in 2018.
The charge sheet with number HC/40c/2021 and dated June 16,2021 had said “Mbu will give answer to what happened on December 24,2018 on Ndung Stream Road, Bendeghe-Ekeim where Ngon was murdered”.
He had said Mbu was charged with Murder “contrary to section 319(1) of the Criminal Code,Cap C16,Vol.3,Laws of Cross River State of Nigeria 2004”.
The resumed sitting came on heels of a motion exparte by the Claimant’s Counsel,C.A Adama on January 17,2022 urging for service on the former AIG through substituted means.
Mbu is also accused of other infractions in Etung local government area as reported by a Judicial Panel of Enquiry.