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News - North Central - FCT Updated: April 18, 2024

DIG Mbah was petitioned for subverting judgment in land tussle — SAN

By Kehinde Ayanboade
April 18, 2024
DIG Frank Mbah
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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Dr Ogwu James Onoja has told a High Court sitting in the Federal Capital Territory that a Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Frank Mbah was petitioned for allegedly subverting the judgment of the Court in a legal battle on the ownership of a parcel of land in Abuja.

Onoja told Justice M.A Hassan that the Police Chief allegedly subverted the court's judgment delivered on June 14, 2023, which resolved ownership of Plot 756, Cadastral Zone Bo7, Katampe District, Abuja measuring 1.8 Hectares in favour of an Abuja-based real estate development company, Ana Rock Global Services Limited.

The petition addressed to the Inspector General of Police IGP dated April 15, 2024, signed by Barrister George Ibrahim on behalf of the Bar and Bench Chambers was received in the IGP's office the same day.

Based on the high court judgment, Onoja said that on January 26, 2024, the Enforcement Unit of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja carried out enforcement on the land and handed over possession to Ana Rock Company which then put its officers in occupation and security for surveillance. 

The senior lawyer submitted that after the execution of the court judgment, a company, Ofi Merchandise Ltd which sold the land to Ana Rock Global Services allegedly connived with another company, Lifecamp Paradise Ltd and illegally secured police officers identified as SP Pantami, Yaro Yaro and others to forcefully eject Ana Rock from the property without any order of court.

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He alleged that DIG Frank Mbah, using Yaro Yaro, SP Pantami and a host of others attached to the SWAT office, Area 3, Garki – Abuja first came to the land with heavily armed policemen to forcefully take it over for Lifecamp Paradise Ltd but could not succeed due to the presence of officers of the Civil Defence guarding the premises on account of the owner.

Onoja explained that men of the Department of the State Service (DSS) were also secured by Lifecamp Paradise Ltd for the same purpose but were equally unable to forcefully remove Ana Rock and its officials from the land. 

He told the Judge that on April 12, 2024, officials of Lifecamp Paradise Ltd went to the land by 10 pm and were apprehended by the security personnel on the land who handed them over to the Police Station at Mabushi, Abuja, as legally required.   

According to him, on April 13, 2024, when officials of the Ana Rock Global Services went back to the police at Mabushi to give a further briefing on the arrest, they were detained alongside the security man on the land who voluntarily came to the Police Station to make a statement as to what happened on the land the previous night. 

Rather than investigating a case of criminal trespass on the land, the senior lawyer submitted that police at Mabushi handed officials of Ana Rock Global Services Ltd to SWAT Office, Area 3, Abuja and have since been unlawfully detained.

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He accused police of allowing their interests to overshadow them over their core mandate to the citizens as provided in the Police Act and the Constitution.

"The police led by DIG Frank Mbah is behind this reckless act of abuse of office, flagrant disobedience to a valid and subsisting order of this court, subversion of the course of justice, intimidation and undue interference in a civil matter which for all intent and purposes is subjudice.

"The men of SWAT, Area 3, Garki – Abuja particularly SP Pantami and Yaro Yaro have since Saturday, the 13th of April, 2024 been beating, torturing and subjecting the officials of our client to all manners of inhuman and degrading treatments without allowing their lawyers and relatives access to them."

Onoja SAN further alleged that on Sunday, April 14, 2024, the same Police Officers went to the house of Ojodale Joseph, a relative of the Managing Director of Ana Rock Company to arrest him after they looked for the Managing Director and couldn’t find him at home and have been torturing him and subjecting him to all manner of degrading treatment without access to his lawyers.  

The senior lawyer said that while the aggrieved parties in the land matter have gone to the Court of Appeal, "the Police under DIG Frank Mbah constituted themselves to the Court of Appeal, taking laws into their hand and brazenly disregarding the judgment of the FCT High Court".

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He further informed the Judge that the abuse of power, intimidation and illegalities being perpetrated by police in respect of the land are being coordinated by DIG Frank Mbah.

However in a reaction to the submissions of the senior lawyer, counsel to Lifecamp Paradise Ltd, Umar Farouk Ocheni defended police roles and informed the Judge that DIG Mbah intervened in the land matter because the Managing Director of Ana Rock Global Services, Mark Ogah and the Company are under Police investigation.

The submissions of the senior lawyer on the petition followed the request by Lifecamp Paradise Ltd that the hearing in a motion it filed against the judgment of the Court seeking its set aside be adjourned till another date.

Ogwu submitted that the Company was using the adjournment request as a mischief to delay justice in the case having been assisted by police to unlawfully and fraudulently take possession of the land against court judgment.

However, in a brief ruling, Justice M.A Hassan shifted further hearing in the matter to April 23 for adoption of final addresses in the suit.

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