The civil liberty organization in Akwa Ibom has called on the state commissioner of Police Mr. Donald Awunah to obey the order of a Federal High Court sitting in Uyo and ensure the release of one Augustine Edet, a legal practitioner who was arrested by the Akwa Ibom Police Command on June 12.
The release order was issued by Justice Futun Riman on Friday after entertaining the case brought before him by Barr Clifford Thomas, Counsel to the detained lawyer.
Speaking to newsmen, Barr Clifford Thomas explained that the police had on June 12 visited Edet’s chamber along Ikot Ekpene road in Uyo and handcuffed him without any warrant.
Thomas, who is also the Chairman, Civil Liberty Organization (CLO), Akwa Ibom State chapter said the police that came to the plaintiff’s chamber claimed they were acting on instructions humiliated him without explanation.
He said that Edet was forcefully taken away to Shelter Afrique Police Station in Uyo, where he was detained.
According to Mr Clifford Thomas, On Tuesday June 13, 2017, the Civil Liberties Organization, CLO, approached the Federal High Court, Uyo; and obtained an Order directing the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone, Calabar, and the Inspector General of Police, who are parties in the suit pending before the Court, to release the Lawyer, immediately and unconditionally.
While the office of the Inspector General of Police received the Order, the Legal Department of the Police zonal command in Calabar, refused to collect it, and personnel in the office of the Assistant Inspector General of Police in Calabar, refused to collect the Order, saying that they instructed not to receive such letters of Orders from the Courts. They claimed that they can only receive orders from their superiors.
The police, according to Thomas denied Barr Edet access to his legal team in spite of all efforts to reach him.
The CLO chairman added that the matter of which Edet is being arrested was already in Court and wondered why the police and its agents should disrespect order of court to arrest his client.
He threrefore called on police authority to obey the Court order, and release Edet without further delay.
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A Report Of The Judgement Of The 16 Divisions Of The Court Of Appeal In Nigeria