By Chioma Onuegbu
A Civil Social Organization, COMMPART Foundation for Justice and Peace Building has written to Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police, Mr Andrew Amiengheme, demanding the unconditional release from detention one Mrs. Naomi Ebong, a widow and her son, Kufre Ebong accused of killing one Mr. Aniekan Udoh.
The Executive Director of the Organisation, Mr Saviour Akpan in the letter dated, February 26, and sent to the CP on March 1, 2021, stated that the duo detained in police custody since February 10, 2021, should have been either released on bail to a reliable surety pending conclusion of investigation or charged to court.
Akpan in the letter made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Uyo, stressed that his organisation though frowns at the sudden death of Aniekan Udoh, but believes that the Police could unravel the unknown cause of death through autopsy, and the Corona Inquest provided in the extant Laws instead of keeping the accused persons to languish in its custody.
His words, “This prolonged incarceration not only violate the due process rights of an accused person as enshrined in our extant Laws but is capable of derailing public confidence on the justice system which every well-meaning Nigerians and organization are working tirelessly to redeem.
“It is a truism that the police can detain suspects pending conclusion of investigation.
“But in this case scenario since the arrest was not done on the same date the incident happened, it is a belief of every reasonableness that investigation must have been carried out before the arrest and as such arraignment of the suspects should not have delayed longer than 48hours as stipulated by Law.
“We hereby demand the unconditional release of Mrs. Naomi Ebong and her son Kufre Ebong to a reliable surety pending investigation. And in this case, we recommend the family head of Ekpuk where she is married to Obio Akpa in the person of Chief Isreal Asuquo, who can be reached directly on his mobile phone.
Akpan further pointed out that the prolonged incarceration of the accused persons disregards the Administration of Criminal Justice Act of 2015 promotes efficient management of criminal justice institutions, speedy dispensation of justice and protects the rights of both defendants and victims
He however condemned the situation where the brother to the deceased stopped a member of the community who volunteered to single-handedly sponsor an autospy to unravel his cause of death and also instructed the Police investigating the case to ensure the accused persons were detained for three months.
He expressed worries that the practice of detaining suspects at the pleasure and demands of complaints has gained ground in the state, stressing, “We demand a stop to the practice in Akwa Ibom State Police command”
Vanguard News Nigeria