Akwa Ibom Chief Judge frees one Cameroonian, 11 others

Akwa Ibom Chief Judge frees one Cameroonian, 11 others

Akwa Ibom State Chief Judge, Justice Ekaette Obot has freed one Alexander Naseri Ebuka, a Cameroonian, as well as 11 other inmates in the Ikot Ekpene and Uyo custodial centres, respectively.

Justice Obot gave the pardon while on inspection of the Medium Security Custodial Centres across the three Senatorial districts in the State.

The Cameroonian, who is a fisherman, has been in prison custody in Uyo for three years over a trump up charge of kidnapping leveled against him by the Nigeria Police.

The State Director of Public Prosecutions said the case file of the Cameroonian could not be found, nor has he been taken to Court after his arrest and detention in 2019.

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The inmate told the Chief Judge that he came to Nigeria with his brother, a fisherman to supply fish to customers in Oron.

He said his brother left him behind only for the Police to arrest and charge him with kidnapping, leading to his detention in prison for three years without trial.

The Chief Judge in reaction said in the circumstance of the missing case file of the inmate and the lack of trial, it would not be in the interest of justice for the authorities to continue to detain the inmate.

Justice Obot, while releasing the Cameroonian, urged the Prison authorities to ensure that he is taken to the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons for rehabilitation.

The freed Cameroonian is one of the eight inmates released by the Chief Judge in Uyo Medium Security Custodial Center, where more than 1,300 inmates are undergoing trial for various offenses.

Also four other inmates in Ikot Ekpene were pardoned by the Chief Judge.

Among those released is an 18 year-old boy from Abak who was charged with extreme breach of peace, over issues relating to payment of house rent.

The boy who is the only child of his mother, a blind woman, had spent three months in prison without trial.

He told the Chief Judge that trouble started when their landlord died, leaving behind three wives and many children.

He said the situation led to confusion over who, among the three wives, should the house rent be paid to, adding that he paid the rent to the most senior wife, which did not augur well with the third wife, who attacked his blind mother, prompting him to retaliate, leading to his arrest by the Police.

The three other inmates also released were Moses Sunday Akpan from Abak who had spent over three years in prison custody for allegedly entering a house to steal and Akaninyene Eshiet Akpan, a physically challenged, from Oruk Anam, who had been in prison since 2019 for allegedly destroying economic trees in his village.

The Chief Judge said the inmates had spent sufficient years in custody, more than the years of punishment provided for the offense they were charged with, advising them to go and sin no more.

The four freed inmates are among the 1006 inmates in Medium Security Custodial Center, Ikot Ekpene. Of the number, 25 are condemned, while 818 are awaiting trial.

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