By AbdulwahabÂ Abdulah
AKWA-IBOM police command has responded to the claim made by Lagos lawyer, Mr Festus Keyamo, that it arrested a woman, Mrs. Atim Chelly Okoko, in lieu of her husband, describing the report asÂ “totally false and unfounded.â€
The lawyer, on behalf of her client, had berated the police command over allegedÂ impunity by law enforcement agents in the state by allegedly arresting and detaining a housewife, Mrs. AtimÂ Chelly Okoko in lieuÂ of her husband.
Keyamo at a briefing noted: â€œ On 1May 2010, about 4a.m, a combined team of fierce-looking policemen and soldiers numbering about 35 stormed our clientâ€™s house in search of her husband who was out of town on a social engagement.
â€œThey did not say the offence our clientâ€™s husband has committed. When they could not find the husband, they demanded to see our client who was at the Rhema Faith Church where she was attending the monthly Tarry Night Service. On getting there, they arrested her and vowed to detain her until they get her husband.â€
However, the Police Commissioner, Mr. Walter Rugbere in a response stated:Â Â â€œThe allegation that Akwa Ibom State government is using security operatives to hound or intimidate opponents is false.
“On the particular issue of the arrest of a member ofÂ Okoko family, the case has to do with the arrest of a suspected kidnapper which the state police command is investigating.
â€œIn fact, Keyamo has taken the police to court on behalf of the suspect in this matter and the case came up for hearing yesterdayÂ in Uyo.”
So there is no basis to try to link the matter to politics. This is strictly a criminal matter which is already before a competent court.â€
A statement by Essien Ndueso, Special Assistant on media to Commissioner for information, Akwa Ibom State noted that the information Commissioner did not have details of the matter but added that onlyÂ the commissioner of police was the competent authority to provide the necessary information.