Juliana Francis

Barrister Maxwell Opara together with the Concerned Indigenes of Mbaise Worldwide, has criticised the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Usman Baba for addressing Professor Zainab Duke Abiola, who allegedly ordered her domestic staff to assault her Police Orderly, Woman Inspector Teju Moses, as “an Mbaise born Professor/Activist.”

Opara made reference to a press statement dated 22nd of September 2022, signed by the Force Spokesman, Muyiwa Adejob. In the statement, the Force spokesman attempted to shed light on why and how Inspector Moses got bloodied at the behest of the Professor.

It will be recalled that following the police press statement, the Professor was arraigned the following day and remanded in prison custody till the 5th of October for trial.

Opara and others were displeased with a part of the police statement, where Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola, was addressed as “an Mbaise born Professor/ Activist,” which they see as unfavourable ethnic profiling.

According to Opara, the IGP used that opportunity to manifest his hidden disgust and hatred for the Mbaise People of Imo State South East Nigeria.

Opara added:  “Moreso, where it has since been confirmed that the said suspect is neither from Mbaise nor married to Mbaise. We seek to inform the IGP that his use of that expression “an Mbaise born Professor/Activist” defamed the good people of Mbaise, Imo State, who are currently gravely aggrieved and agitated over the incident and publication which had since been widely circulated to the whole world. Thus, we have already written to the IGP. In the said letter, we called on the IGP to immediately release another press statement wherein he is to apologize, on behalf of the Nigeria Police Force, to the Mbaise People of Imo State, retract the said disparaging comment and publish the same in two national dailies and on their verified social media handles, and finally resign from his position as the Inspector General of Police for gross misconduct.”

Opara further stated: “The IGP is as a result of this assured that if at the expiration of one week from the date of receipt of this letter, he fails or neglected to comply with the above demands and resign Honorably for his gross misconduct and violation of the constitution, we shall invoke our next instruction to institute a class action against him and the Nigeria Police Force for defamation of the reputation of the good people of Mbaise, Imo State, South East of Nigeria. Thereafter, we shall equally approach the court through the application of Mandamus to compel the President and the Police Council to exercise their powers under section 7 of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020.”



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