CLO Condemns Unlawful Detention & Torture of Akwa Ibom Woman By NDLEA



Share the news

The Civil Liberties Organisation, CLO has raised alarm over an alleged  illegal detention  and torture of a woman, Mrs. Evelyn Effiong, by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Akwa Ibom state Command.A press statement by Comrade Ibuchukwu Ohabuenyi Ezike,executive director also called for the withdrawal of NDLEA’S zonal commander in the state pending the trial of the woman .

Ezike said “CLO is shocked that a lawyer and an officer of government could conduct herself in such lawlessness as Mrs(Josephine) Obi has done. For the Zonal Commander to threaten citizen Effiong with imprisonment even when she was not the law court shows that she is biased and may have an axe to grind with the old woman. We fear that citizen Effiong may not get justice from the Command under Mrs. Obi and while calling for the NDLEA authorities to investigate Obi’s alleged visible interest in the case, we demand that she be withdrawn from Akwa Ibom Command pending the trial of citizen Effiong’s case, full investigation of her alleged partial role in the matter and the way she runs the Command as a despot

Narrating the victim’s ordeal,Ezike said , “Effiong was arrested on September 20, 2012, at Oron, by NDLEA and has since then been detained at the Agency’s office on Nwaniba Road, Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, where the aged woman, with fragile health, is currently being tortured by the operatives of the state Command.

“Effiong’s crime according to reports before us was her alleged possession of about 100 grams of weeds suspected to be marijuana. Since her arrest and detention over a month ago, several frantic efforts have been made by relations and several agencies of government, especially those concerned with the issue of human rights, to effect her freedom without success.

“Mrs. Josephine Obi (Esq) and the Zonal Commander of the NDLEA in Akwa Ibom state, is hugely alleged to have frustrated all of these genuine efforts to accord freedom to citizen Effiong, including an administrative bail that was secured for victim Effiong by the Legal Aid Council, Uyo.

“CLO gathered that all the conditions given for the administrative bail have been met by the Legal Aid Council, duly verified and found to be satisfactory but that the Zonal Commander, Mrs. Obi, had sworn never to allow the old Effiong whose certified medical reports show that her health case was fragile and monumentally deteriorating to be bailed. A credible Surety who has been verified and certified okay by the authorities for administrative bail has also been produced to stand for Effiong. She (Mrs. Obi) is said to have boasted that she would jail the old woman, an allegation we are convinced to believe is true, judging from the unofficial and wicked attitude or disposition of Mrs. Obi who is acting as if she were the law itself.


The CLO executive director said ,“For instance, CLO cannot find the reasons why a condition- met bail cannot be granted by the Command to Mrs. Effiong. Two, apart from the Legal Aid Council, the National Human Rights Commission, has intervened in the matter, appealing to Mrs. Obi to grant Effiong conditional bail as provided by law since the offence was bailable and the conditions for bail met. Yet, this compassionate appeal was utterly disregarded by Obi. Third, the Court where the woman would be charged to, has not fully resumed sitting. The matter is set down for mention/plea for October 29, 2012. Therefore, there was no genuine cause for why her bail, all conditions having been met, will not be granted by the NDELEA.”

Read the press statement below:

PRESS STATEMENT.

By the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO).

October 22, 2012.

CONTINUED UNLAWFUL DETENTION AND INCARCERATION OF MRS. EVELYN EFFIONG BY NDLEA, AKWA IBOM STATE COMMAND: APPEAL FOR JUSTICE & RESPECT FOR HER FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS.

The reports of arrest and continued unlawful detention, incarceration and torture of a Nigerian citizen, Mrs. Evelyn Effiong, by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Akwa Ibom state Command, has been received by the CLO. Mrs. Effiong was arrested on September 20, 2012, at Oron, by NDLEA and has since then been detained at the Agency’s office on Nwaniba Road, Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, where the aged woman, with fragile health, is currently being tortured by the operatives of the state Command.

Effiong’s crime according to reports before us was her alleged possession of about 100 grams of weeds suspected to be marijuana. Since her arrest and detention over a month ago, several frantic efforts have been made by relations and several agencies of government, especially those concerned with the issue of human rights, to effect her freedom without success.

Mrs. Josephine Obi (Esq) and the Zonal Commander of the NDLEA in Akwa Ibom state, is hugely alleged to have frustrated all of these genuine efforts to accord freedom to citizen Effiong, including an administrative bail that was secured for victim Effiong by the Legal Aid Council, Uyo.

CLO gathered that all the conditions given for the administrative bail have been met by the Legal Aid Council, duly verified and found to be satisfactory but that the Zonal Commander, Mrs. Obi, had sworn never to allow the old Effiong whose certified medical reports show that her health case was fragile and monumentally deteriorating to be bailed. A credible Surety who has been verified and certified okay by the authorities for administrative bail has also been produced to stand for Effiong. She (Mrs. Obi) is said to have boasted that she would jail the old woman, an allegation we are convinced to believe is true, judging from the unofficial and wicked attitude or disposition of Mrs. Obi who is acting as if she were the law itself.

For instance, CLO cannot find the reasons why a condition- met bail cannot be granted by the Command to Mrs. Effiong. Two, apart from the Legal Aid Council, the National Human Rights Commission, has intervened in the matter, appealing to Mrs. Obi to grant Effiong conditional bail as provided by law since the offence was bailable and the conditions for bail met. Yet, this compassionate appeal was utterly disregarded by Obi. Third, the Court where the woman would be charged to, has not fully resumed sitting. The matter is set down for mention/plea for October 29, 2012. Therefore, there was no genuine cause for why her bail, all conditions having been met, will not be granted by the NDELEA.

OUR POSITION.

CLO strongly condemns the continued keeping of citizen Effiong in custody without recourse to respect for her fundamental rights and maintains that the act is absolutely unlawful, a display of executive impunity and therefore, culminates in the gross infringement on her rights.

OUR REQUEST.

In view of the foregoing, CLO, therefore, requests the authorities of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency to call Mrs. Obi to order and grant Mrs. Effiong conditional release without further delay pending when she would be properly charged to court. CLO is shocked that a lawyer and an officer of government could conduct herself in such lawlessness as Mrs Obi has done. For the Zonal Commander to threaten citizen Effiong with imprisonment even when she was not the law court shows that she is biased and may have an axe to grind with the old woman. We fear that citizen Effiong may not get justice from the Command under Mrs. Obi and while calling for the NDLEA authorities to investigate Obi’s alleged visible interest in the case, we demand that she be withdrawn from Akwa Ibom Command pending the trial of citizen Effiong’s case, full investigation of her alleged partial role in the matter and the way she runs the Command as a despot.

Lastly, we recall that such cases of executive impunity as this have landed tens of thousands of innocent Nigerians in Awaiting Trial custodies across the country and urge for a rethink among our law enforcement agencies. One of such cases was the case of Nigerian who was recently released from ATP custody whose funeral had already been done by his people.

May a stitch in time save us nine.

Signd.

Comrade Ibuchukwu Ohabuenyi Ezike,

Executive Director.


Share the news
No tags for this post.