By Magnus Effiong
A retired Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIG), Joseph Mbu, has been dragged to court for allegedky shooting to death one Ayuk Etta Ngon in Etung local government area of Cross River State.
Our Correspondent, who monitored the development when the case came up for hearing on Tuesday at the High Court of Cross River, reported that the case, which has Suit No: HC/40C/2021, is presided over by Justice Samuel Anjoh of High Court II Calabar.
The charge sheet said “Mbu will give an answer to what happened on December 24, 2018 at Ndung Stream Road, Bendegbe Ekiem where Ngon was murdered”.
The State government, which is prosecuting the retired police officer through the Department of Public Prosecution, said Mbu was charged for murder “contrary to Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap C16, Vol. 3, Laws of Cross River State of Nigeria 2004”
During the hearing, Counsel to the defendant, Barr Agan Teke, said his team had filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the Court as well as the mode of service.
“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 bring it to Calabar Judicial Division?
“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 prosection is defective in substance.
“Besides, the substituted mode of service is not acceptable. There is nothing to show that there was any attempt to serve the retired AIG in His house or even to look for him.”
Barr C.A Adams, who stood in for the prosecution team however declined comment when approached, saying his superiors in the Department of Public Prosecution would have to give him permission before he could speak on the matter.
It was further gathered that the prosecution has filed a counter affidavit challenging the defence lawyer’s position on jurisdiction and the issue of investigation prior to arraignment.
The Prosecution team argued that they have a right to file any matter against any individual whether the Police investigated it or not, and that the High Court of the State remains one.
The case was adjourned to March 16, 2022.
By Magnus Effiong