One of the leading lawyer under the guise of the All Progressive Party, APC, Barr. Imo Akpan, has lambast the Akwa Ibom State Attorney General, Barr. Uwemedimo Nwoko.
Bar. Imo who schooled the the attorney general for threatening the state’s police commissioner police, Mr. Edgal Imohimi. narrates the situation behind Mr. Nwoko’s rant.
Mr Imo who spoke in defense to the Barr. Leo Ekpeyong’s illegal arrest and unlawful detention said.
“Barr. Leo Ekpenyong was arrested 0n October, 8, 2019 and released on administrative Bail. He was alleged to have authored certain publications which Governor Udom Emmanuel considered injurious.
“Upon his release, he filed an action at the High Court of Federal Capital Territory for the enforcement of his Fundamental Rights. The Interim Orders of Court granted on 16/10/2019 subsists till date.
“However, in furtherance of its desperation, the Akwa Ibom State Government once again activated its links in the Nigeria Police Force and picked up Barr. Ekpenyong from Church where he was attending Mass. He was man-handled and forced into a Police van in a commando-like fashion and clamped into the SARS detention facility in Abuja amongst inmates arrested in connection with terrorism, Boko Haram and homosexuals.
“He was dispossessed of his phones and prevented from making any calls, contact his family or Solicitors despite pleas and his insistence that he had a restraining Order in his car. He was prevented from taking his medication.
“This renewed onslaught against Barr. Ekpenyong was led by the O/C Legal, Akwa Ibom State Police Command, DSP Ochoba. Barr. Ekpenyong was held incommunicado from Saturday March 7, 2020 when he was arrested till Monday March 9, 2020 when he was clandestinely paraded to the Chief Magistrates Court on a “Holding Charge” – a clear Constitutional aberration – apparently with intent to clamp him in jail eternally! He was barely able to walk and had to be supported by the Police to make it to Court.
“While in the Courtroom, Barr. Leo Ekpenyong buckled under the weight of strain and fatigue. He was no longer responsive to his immediate environment. The Presiding Chief Magistrate declined jurisdiction over the Charge marked MU/182C/2020 and ordered for his remand in custody. His remand would be after a thorough medical examination to ascertain his fitness for trial.
“Barr. Leo Ekpenyong was returned to Police custody where a medical examination was conducted at the Police Clinic Ikot Akpan Abia in the presence of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Barr. Joseph Umoren, and a report produced.
“The report of the examination showed that while Barr. Leo Ekpenyong was cleared of some medical conditions; further medical examination was required in respect of some other tests, hence the recommendation for a referral to the National Hospital, Abuja.
“What then is the basis for the outburst against the Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State? Should the Commissioner of Police have handed over Barr. Leo Ekpenyong even after the Court expressly ordered for medical examination? Was the Commissioner of Police wrong to have obeyed the Order of Court? Is the Attorney General unaware of the subsisting Order of the High Court of the FCT restraining the Police from inviting and re-arresting Barr. Leo Ekpenyong? Is obedience to Court orders complete only when it agrees with the machinations of those in transient political offices?
“We choose to ignore the Attorney General’s embarrassing calls for resignation or sack and prosecution of the Commissioner of Police because we also understand the times and seasons in Akwa Ibom State; the mere ipse dixit (words of mouth) of the Attorney General do not amount to Law! The calls are full of misapprehension and mischief.
“For instance, while many State-sponsored media published the Order of the Chief Magistrate referring Barr. Leo Ekpenyong for medical examination, the learned Attorney General in his video, cleverly suppressed that information ostensibly to spite the Commissioner of Police.
“We call for restraint on the part of those who are saddled with responsibilities to discharge on behalf of the public, knowing full well that offices are transient.