Obong Paul Etim Ekpo, a 73–year old resident of Ikot Ambon in Ibesikpo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Southsouth Nigeria has told the Akwa Ibom State Judicial Panel of Inquiry how the police denied him access to his hypertensive drugs, while he was unlawfully detained for three days over a land dispute.
Ekpo, who appeared before the eight-man judicial panel on Monday, said he was arrested with his 21–year old son, on the orders of Eventus Etim Ekpo, a Police Inspector attached to Ibesikpo Police Station, with whom he had a land dispute and thereafter, falsely detained over a fictitious charge of kidnapping.
“At about 9 pm on October 18, 2014, I and my son, Destiny Paul Ekpo, were arrested by a team of five policemen. We were taken to the Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia and detained there,” Ekpo recounted.
“They accused us of kidnapping the Inspector’s wife, Mrs. Glory Etim Ekpo, when in reality nothing of such ever happened.”
The septuagenarian also told the Justice Ukana-led panel that the police deprived him of his personal liberty and subjected him to dehumanizing conditions, despite his hypertensive condition.
“From that Friday, October 18, 2014, when we were arrested till Monday, October 21, 2014, the police kept me outside throughout. While my son was lucky to be detained in the cell, I was stripped of my clothes and left out in the rain and cold for three days, without committing any crime,” he said.
“The police also deprived me of access to my hypertensive drugs, food and any means to contact my family.”
Obong Ekpo asked the panel to bring the police officer, his wife Glory, and the policemen who arrested and unlawfully detained him, to justice.
Justice Ukana adjourned the hearing on the petition to November 23 to enable the panel issue summons to the parties involved.
“It is only proper that the panel serves the summons on the parties involved so that they can react to the allegations preferred against them,” he said.
Udom Emmanuel, Governor of Akwa Ibom State had on Tuesday, October 20, inaugurated an eight-man panel headed by retired Justice Ifiok Ukana, to investigate incidents of police brutality and human rights abuses against the police in the state.
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