Arrest, probe of Cameroonian bizman legal – Police

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The Nigeria Police Force has denied allegations of undue influence by a Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Frank Emeka-Mba, over a case involving a Cameroonian businessman, Langwa Brezhnev, and his Nigerian business partner, Hillary Emeka-Mba, due to alleged filial relationship.

The Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in a statement on Monday, said the ongoing investigation of Brezhnev by the Force Criminal Investigations Department, Lagos Annex, Alagbon, Ikoyi-Lagos, was in line with Police Investigative Procedure.

The NPF’s rebuttal followed the issuance of a press statement by a human rights activist and lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, who is the lead counsel for Brezhnev, alleging illegal arrest and unlawful detention of his client.

Adejobi said, “To set the record straight, the Force CID, Lagos Annex, in May, 2023, received a petition titled, ‘Complaint Against Mr Langwa Brezhnev Over The Obtainment of Goods By False Pretence and Fraud in Respect of Sale of Fertilizer’ from one Siri Legal Consulting, solicitors to EMB Trade Logistics Nig Ltd.

“The suspect, who has been off the radar, following the fraudulent transactions as alleged, was arrested in Uyo and brought to Lagos to enable him answer to the allegations against him. Investigations so far by the police team have, however, clearly established a prima facie case against the suspect.

“Meanwhile, the report from the Force CID Annex shows that the suspect is currently on remand at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre following a remand order issued by Igbosere Magistrate Court 21, Lagos. It is also noted that the same court had earlier granted a remand order committing the suspect to police custody to avail the police with additional time for a discrete investigation into the matter.”

The police further described as a “psychological projection and campaign of calumny,” the claim by Effiong that DIG Mba is a brother to the complainant, Mba, adding that the DIG was not the AIG in charge of the FCID Annex, Alagbon when the suspect was arrested.

“Similarly, the claim by Inibehe that DIG Frank Mba is a brother to the nominal complainant, one Hilary Emeka Mba, which is the basis for his allegation of undue influence against the senior officer, is false and unfounded. The fact remains that Hillary Emeka Mba is not in any way connected or related to DIG Frank Emeka Mba. They have no filial relationship whatsoever. The resemblance in the name is purely a coincidence of names.

“Without mincing words, the allegation against DIG Frank Mba, who was not even the AIG in charge of FCID Annex Alagbon when the suspect was arrested, is just a psychological projection and a campaign of calumny.

“The Force, therefore, enjoins members of the public to disregard the claim of illegal arrest and unlawful detention of Mr Langwa by the police, as well as allegation of undue influence by DIG Frank Mba or any officer of the police as untrue and unfounded. The Force equally wishes to advise Inibehe to direct his efforts to the court of law where the case is already being heard, rather than maliciously using the media to defame the hard-earned professional reputation of senior police officers and obstructing the course of justice.”