Advancing the Cause of Justice, Law Enforcement, Public Relations

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Chiemelie Ezeobi, in exploring the world of Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, who was recently promoted to the enviable rank of a Commissioner of Police, writes that the consummate cop has successfully married his passion between law enforcement, justice and public relations, all for the betterment of the society

On one hand he clutches the gun while the other wields the wig and gown. Although both represent the insignia of the Criminal Justice System, the former stands for law enforcement while the latter is to ensure justice.

This is the world of Frank Mba, a Deputy Commissioner of Police and a Commissioner of Police in the waiting, given that he was just recently promoted to the enviable rank by the Police Service Commission (PSC).

In many fora, Mba has always believed that having the best of both worlds, in either law enforcement or ensuring justice is done, has made him a better police officer. But while both professions are his passion, another career trajectory has been his foray into the media and by extension, public relations, which has soared his profile as a consummate police man.

Early Days

But how did Mba become a policeman? For someone who never dreamt of becoming a police officer, his foray into the profession started from watching a police parade. As shocking as it might seem, he had just finished his secondary school and was waiting for his JAMB result when fate intervened.

He had gone with a friend to the Polo Park in Enugu where a police parade was going on. Seeing the beautiful procession done with razor-cut precision, his passion to join the force was kindled. He applied to join the police and upon recruitment, joined as a cadet in 1992 as a teenager.

But before the police recruitment form came out, he had already gotten admission to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) to study Political Science. He was just in his first semester before the police came calling. He quickly pulled out and went to the Police Academy. After his training in the academy, he went on to acquire a degree in Law- which happened to be his first love.

His stance has always been that being a police officer and lawyer makes him a perfect tool for advancing the cause of justice and law enforcement, since they are mutually reinforcing. His philosophy is pegged on the fact that having a grasp of the law makes him a better police officer and being a police officer makes him a better lawyer.

From those days of humble beginnings at the police college, Mba has grown through the ranks over the years while occupying positions, all targeted at making him a well-rounded officer. Just last week, he was promoted to the enviable rank of a commissioner of police.

Academia

Academic-wise, Mba studied at the prestigious University of Lagos, Akoka, and the Nigerian Law School, Abuja where he graduated with a Second Class Upper Honors in Law from both institutions, earning him an LLB and BL respectively. He was subsequently called to the Nigerian Bar as a full-fledged Attorney in 2002.

In fact, his outstanding performance in academics at the Law School earned him Hon. Justice Kayode Esho’sAward as the Best Graduating Student in Professional Ethics, Nigerian Law School, 2001/2002.

Mba is also a proud alumnus of the University of Dundee, Scotland -United Kingdom, where he obtained a Master’s Degree in Law, also graduating with a distinction.

Career Trajectory

Mba was appointed into the Nigeria Police Force on May 18, 1992 as a Cadet Inspector of Police, rising to his present rank. A product of the Nigeria Police Academy, Kano, he is also a graduate of the prestigious FBI National Academy, Quantico- USA. In addition, he holds a Certificate in National and International Security from the Harvard University, USA.

For those who know him, Mba is a passionate and versatile police officer who has worked in very challenging police units and departments across the country, cutting across investigations, operations and public relations.

Over the course of his job, he has occupied postings such as the Public Relations Officer, Lagos Command; Area Commander, Area J (Ajah Lagos); Area Commander, Area E (Festac Lagos); Assistant Commissioner of Police, Zonal Criminal Investigation Department (ZCID), Zone 11 Osogbo; Assistant Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti Lagos; Assistant Commissioner of Police, Force Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) Annex, Kaduna; Assistant Commissioner of Police, State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Umuahia; Sectional Head/Fraud Investigator, Special Fraud Unit, FCID Lagos; Force Public Relations Officer, Force Headquarters, Abuja amongst others.

Trainings

Knowing the importance of trainings, Mba has attended some of the finest Law Enforcement trainings, both within and outside Nigeria. These include: Countering Violent Extremism and Police Leadership Course at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA), Roswell, New Mexico, USA (2018); Strategic Leadership and Command Course, Police Staff College, Jos (2017); and Crisis and Disaster Management Course, Israel (2013).

Others include Managing the Media in Crisis Situations, School of Media and Communications, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos (2013); US-sponsored International Visitor Leadership Program, with special focus on International Crime Issues, Washington DC (2010); General Criminal Investigation Course at the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA), Botswana (2009); Middle Management Course on Global Peace Operations in Vicenza, Italy (2008); amongst others.

Peace Keeping

On the international scene, he was a member of the Nigeria Police Contingent to the United Nations Peace-Keeping Mission in Liberia between 2006 and 2007, where he distinguished himself through a combination of hard work, professionalism, and discipline, thereby earning himself the prestigious UN Medal.

Job Commitment

He is currently the Force Public Relations Officer (FPRO), a job description that qualifies him as the National Spokesman of the Nigeria Police.

Since his assumption of duty, he has committed himself to bringing his wealth of experience to bear in revamping the image of the force, improving the relationship between the citizens and the police, bridging existing communication gap between the police and its stakeholders, working with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and other stakeholders to promote police accountability and compliance with National and International Human Rights Laws, and assisting the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) in realising his mission and vision for the force and the nation.

He is also actively involved in the development and implementation of national de-radicalisation and counter-terrorism programmes aimed at weakening the hold of the Boko-Haram extremists in the North-Eastern part of the country. In addition, he is a member of the Police Team working on the full implementation of a national Community Policing Programme for the country.

Mba is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Africa Public Relations Association (APRA), National Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) amongst others.