Akwa Ibom monarchs risk being jailed over alleged contempt

Posted by News Express | 15 April 2017 | 1,665 times

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The Paramount Ruler of Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Ovong Edet Okon Isemin, the Village Head of Ibaka village also of Mbo, Chief Asukwo Ntefit Asukwo, and 12 others risk being jailed for defying the judgment orders of the Federal High Court, Uyo.

Already, the Court has fixed May 11, 2017 for them to appear before it over alleged contempt charge filed by the Counsel to the incorporated Trustees of Ibaka Youth Association, Mr. Ayei E. Okpa from the Kanu G. Agabi & Associates Chambers, Calabar.

Justice Fatun O. Riman of the Federal High Court Uyo had restrained both the Paramount ruler and the village head from interfering with the right to association, property and peaceful assembly of youths of the community under the aegis of the incorporated trustees of Ibaka youths association.

It was learnt that upon being served with a copy of the order in suit No. FHC/Uy/CS/1616/16: Incorporated Trustees of Ibaka Youths Association & 3 others versus the Commissioner of Police Akwa Ibom State and 10 others, the paramount ruler became incensed at the judgment and immediately summoned a meeting with other chiefs and interested parties in his house at Ibaka.

It was gathered that contrary to the verdict of the court, at the meeting called by the paramount ruler, a decision was taken to mobilise and displace the youth’s association from the revenue points ceded by the Ibaka community to the youths of the community to manage.

President of the youth group and chairman of the board of trustees of Ibaka Youths Association, comrade Uduak Effiong Isemin confirmed that youths at the revenue check point in the area were attacked but however repelled by men of the Joint Task Force (JTF) that patrolled the area. 

In the judgment, Justice Riman of the Federal Court had ordered the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Donald Awunah to arrest all those behind the killing of the late Christian Okon for prosecution.

The Judge posited that the applicants were entitled to peaceful assembly and freedom of association; right to privacy and to freedom from arbitrary interference; and right to life and to the security of their person, among others; warning against further inference of activities of the youth’s association by the chiefs in the area.

Commenting on the development, Counsel to the association, from the chamber of Kanu G. Agabi & Associates, Barrister Ayei E. Okpa, frowned at the flagrant disregard to orders of court by royal fathers who ought to lead by example as custodians of peace and order in their community.

He said steps have already commenced at the Federal High Court Uyo to commit the Royal fathers to prison for the contempt, and that with the service on the two chiefs of forms 48 and 49, already executed, the coast is clear to take the next step of prosecuting the chiefs for contempt, and urged his client not to despair as no one is above the law. (THISDAY)

Source: News Express

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