The facts behind the bench warrant issued against AIG Mbu have been clarified by his legal representative. Below are facts bordering on the controversial ‘bench warrant’
The alleged charge was not served on AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu.
That the prosecuting Counsel claimed to have served him through order of substituted service.
That AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu through his Lawyers filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the Court on two grounds
That the Court lacks the territorial jurisdiction as the alleged offence occurred outside the territorial jurisdiction of High Court 6 Calabar.
The charge was not served on him and the said charge was inchoate.
That the trial court in its Ruling set aside the order of substituted service thereafter varied the order and directed that the charge be served on him through his Lawyer A. A. ANNAH Esq.
That AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu was dissatisfied with the court decision and immediately appealed to the Court of Appeal Calabar.
That his lawyers later filed a motion for stay of execution on such service on him pending the decision of the Court.
That the trial court ruled against him when the Prosecuting Counsel as well as the imaginary Complainant were absent from the court while the Counsel for AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu was in Court; The Court went ahead to order for a Bench warrant against him suo motu without any application from the prosecution counsel.
That through his counsel on the same date filed a motion and to be precise on 2nd November, 2022 seeking the order of the same court be set aside its orders issuing Bench Warrant against him without first hearing him.
That he directed his Lawyers to apply for the Ruling and same was applied but the Ruling is yet to be issued to Lawyers to enable his Lawyers take further steps at the Court of Appeal.
That the said Appeal before the Court of Appeal has been entered with Appeal No. CA/C/3389/2022.
That the motion seeking the High Court of Cross River State to set aside the bench warrant has already been served on the Attorney General of Cross River State and the prosecuting Counsel accepted service on behalf of the state by named C. ADAMA Esq.
That the day the Bench Warrant was issued against AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu his interlocutary motion was already before the court to stay its orders of substituted service on him.
That by virtue of Section 263 (b) of Cross River State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2016. A defendant shall be subject to the provisions of section 134 of this Law be present in court during the whole trial of his interlocutary application.
That Section 94 of Cross River State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2016 permit a defendant raise Territorial Jurisdiction when attempt are made to try him outside the Territorial Jurisdiction where the said offence occurred as to this instant case.
That AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu is ever ready to comply with all the orders of the Court but wanted the Court to allow him exercise all the legal arsenals available to him to protect his right to fair hearing.
That he is only demanding that the alleged charge be served on him together with his cautionary statement as required by Law to enable him prepare for defence.
That he has already demanded same through his Lawyer but none have been served on him and that is why he has appealed against the decision of the Trial Court which is pending before Court of Appeal Calabar.
That AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu was never arraigned before the High Court of Cross River State; there is a different between arraignment and filing a charge before a court.
The issue before the Court of Appeal is also for the Court of Appeal to interpret the powers of Attorney General to investigate and prosecute.
That since the charge was filed against AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu the purported complainant has never appeared before the court up till the date the Court issued Bench Warrant against AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu.
That even the date the Bench Warrant was issued both the acclaimed Complainant and the Prosecuting Counsel were absent from court and no sanction were meted on either of them but AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu was represented by his Counsel.
That section 301 of Cross River Administration of Justice Law 2016 provides that when an issue of interpretation of the Constitution is referred to Court of Appeal for interpretation the lower Court is required to adjourn the trial of the case pending the interpretation of the provision of that constitution.
That the issue at the Court of Appeal Calabar borders on the jurisdiction of the Court to assume jurisdiction on the charge against AIG Mbu Joseph Mbu having lacks the jurisdiction to do so; as well, whether by sections 214 and 211 Constitution of federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, the powers of the Attorney General of Cross River State to prosecute criminal cases does not include investigation of criminal cases except the Nigeria police.
It’s also of importance to alert the public on the politics in the whole of this unveiling drama.
The first question is: who reported a case of murder against AIG Mbu and at which police Division? A case of murder is supposed to be transferred from the Division to the State CID. Where was his cautionary statement made or volunteered by me?
The second question is: why should a case of murder on 24th December, 2018 be charged to court in July, 2021