It was a combination of cheers and bumps as Joseph Mbu Joseph, an Assistance Inspector General of Police, AIG, finally bows out from the Nigeria Police Force, NPF. Officers and men of the police bided Mr. Mbu goodbye after 33 years in service at a stepping-down ceremony at the Police Staff College, Jos.
Mbu who many referred to as highly controversial corp especially during the electioneering period of 2015 general elections enrolled into the force in 1985. He was commandant of the college until he was suddenly retired along with 20 other colleagues on July 1.
At the farewell ceremony Mbu described his service years as fulfilling and urged men and officers still in service to always eschew ‘eye service’ in the discharge of their duties.
Mbu himself is believed to have engaged in excessive ‘eye service’ to please the Goodluck Jonathan administration during his tenures as police commissioner in Rivers and Abuja, and assistant inspector-general in charge of Zone 2, Lagos.
According to him,“I am privileged as a police officer to head various formations and commands, including the political capital, Abuja, and the economic capital, Lagos,” he said.
“Other formations and commands I headed as commissioner of police include the Directorate of Police Education, Mobile Force, Oyo, Rivers and the FCT.
“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.”
However, the retired AIG called on the media not to overflog the alleged “sins” of officers and men of the police in the course of duty, but rather to seek and understand their peculiar circumstances and work as partners with them to ensure peace and sanity in the country.
Mbu, who once described himself as a “radical rebel” and a “lion”, left the force without achieving his ambition of becoming Nigeria’s 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.
The retired AIG bounced to national prominence in 2013 shortly after he was posted to Rivers as police commissioner. Rotimi Amaechi, the governor of the state at the time, soon accused him of partisanship, saying he had taken sides with Patience Jonathan and her husband, who were fighting him.
At a point, Mr. Amaechi petitioned the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), accusing Mr. 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 Mr. Mbu through his “pattern of actions and utterances.”
Mbu, however denied victimising the governor. He described Mr. Amaechi as a power-hungry dictator who hated him because he refused to be subservient to him.
Mbu and Mr. Amaechi remained estranged until he (Mbu) was moved to Abuja as commissioner.
While in the nation’s capital, the police officer recalled his time in Rivers with relish, describing himself as a lion who succeeded in taming Mr. Amaechi, a leopard.
The then Rivers governor shot back describing the cop as “a puppet who completely lacked the steel and strength of character of a lion, and is rather a shameless, corrupt puppet and toothless attack dog of a woman.”