The Rivers State Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mbu, on Thursday finally honoured the invitation of the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, where he defended himself against allegations of partisanship by the state governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi.
Amaechi had dragged Mbu, with whom he has been purportedly having a running battle over control of security apparatus in Rivers State, before the NHRC, alleging various forms of human rights abuses and insubordination by the police chief.
The governor also alleged that due to Mbu’s alleged insubordination and his fifth columnist role, the crime rate which had been witnessing a steady decline, had soared since his posting to the state, which he claimed was influenced by the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.
Amaechi, therefore, asked the commission to investigate the contents of his petition and ascertain whether Mbu was fit to head the Rivers police command.
But Mbu, who was grilled by the commission for over two hours, while speaking with newsmen after the closed door meeting, denied ever receiving instructions from the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan.
“How can I take instruction from the first lady? Mbu asked, adding that “I take instruction from the IG, who is my boss. I don’t even have access to the President and I don’t want to”.
The police chief insisted that there was no problem between him and Amaechi and blamed the press for blowing happenings in the state out of proportion.
He said: “I am the Police Commissioner of Rivers state. It is my duty to protect all of you. I do not belong to any political party, but you know that once you are doing the right thing and you are not favouring a particular group, you will be labelled as an enemy.
“It is not true that I am not in good terms with Governor Amaechi, my phone is there; even yesterday, I spoke with my governor the day before yesterday, [and] I spoke with him about four times. Last week, I was in his office twice where we held security meeting with other service commanders. I think the press is over blowing the issues in Rivers state.
“We are working with the governor amicably, but one thing is clear, the enemies of the governor are not my enemies. I am a police officer, an umpire, and my job is to make sure that I protect everybody who is in Rivers state. That is my professional calling and I stand by it.
“We have never been at loggerhead except that I am a professional police officer for over two and half decades. I know my job and I do it well. Anyway, I am not here to discuss my issue with governor of Rivers state. He is my governor, he is my boss but all I am telling you is that we are working well.
“Do you know that I just returned from South Africa where I was selected as the Best Crime Fighting Chief in West Africa by Security Watch West Africa, are you aware?” he queried.
Mbu added that “I am doing my job; it depends on how you look at the coin. Whenever somebody is talking about somebody, of course, you know it is subjective; it is not scientific that four plus four is eight. In politics, seven plus seven can be 21”.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Bem Angwe had stated that invitation of the Commissioner was not an indictment but an opportunity for fair hearing and assured him that the commission will be fair, impartial and not submit to pressure from any quarters in carrying out its duties.