Akwa Ibom police command charges #ENDSARS protesters with treasonable felony

THE Akwa Ibom state police command has charged four citizens of the state with treasonable felony for leading #ENDSARS protest in the state on Tuesday.

The suspects, whose names were identified as Idopise Ette Oton, Obot MfonGod, God’sfriend Michael and Victor Nta George, are part of a group named ‘End Bad Governance Initiative’ in the state.

The ICIR learnt that they had gone to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly to protest against bad governance, the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), freezing of accounts of ENDSARS protesters, border closure, increment in electricity tariffs, fuel pump price, misgovernance by the state government, among other sundry issues, when they were arrested by the police.

The police subsequently charged them before the magistrate’s court in Uyo presided over by Chief Magistrate Winifred Umohandy with fraudulent, malicious and frivolous charge of forming intention to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Udom Emmanuel on Wednesday.

But the case was soon dismissed following an objection that the magistrate’s court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the treasonable felony charge brought against the accused persons.

However, The ICIR was told that no sooner had the case been dismissed that armed policemen acting on the directive of the governor through the commissioner of police arrested the accused persons right in the court’s premises.

Inibehe Effiong, a human rights lawyer, who gave the account of the incident in a Facebook post has condemned the action of the state government and the police.

“The protesters who were freed by the court are still in the custody of the police. This shameful action by governor Udom Emmanuel is only the latest in a string of dictatorial actions that Mr Udom Emmanuel has carried out since he came to office,” he said.

It is shameful that Udom Emmanuel, who pretends to be an opposition leader in the country, has desecrated the hallowed temple of justice in his bid to quell all forms of dissent in the State. Akwa Ibom State is under a fascist regime that uses terror, fear and violence as instruments of control.



    Effiong added that it is distasteful that the recently posted Police Commissioner, will reduce the State Police Command to a political weapon for corrupt politicians, and allow himself to be used as a tool by the governor to witch-hunt citizens who are exercising their rights under the Nigerian Constitution.”

    He called for the immediate release of the protesters.

    Every attempt to reach the state police command proved abortive as calls repeatedly put across to Nnudam Fredrick, the police spokesperson were not answered.

    Also, a text message sent to his phone was not replied to as at the time of filing this report.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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