By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
ATTORNEY GENERAL and Commissioner of Justice, Akwa Ibom state, Mr. Uwemedimo Nwoko has flayed the Commissioner of Police, Mr Imohimi Edgal for allegedly interfering with a court order in the case between state government and Mr. Leo Ekpenyong.
Nwoko in media chat yesterday in Uyo alleged that the CP flouted a court order which directed that the accused, Leo Ekpenyong, be remanded in the Correctional Service Center pending March 23, the next adjourned date for his hearing.
He said that the CP would face immediate prosecution for flouting court directives and for allegedly aiding the release of Ekpenyong.
The Attorney General explained that the court had ordered that Ekpenyong be remanded in the Uyo Correctional Centre for criminal libel, false publication and terrorism after medical treatment in any government hospital, but he was shocked to later learn about his release even after the CP assured him that the court order would be carried out.
His words, “The Director of Public Prosecutions and the O/C Legal of the Police with the Court officials took the accused person to the Police Hospital, Uyo for medical attention. While the team was at the Police clinic, Imohimi called the O/C Legal and ordered him to bring the accused person to his office.
“When the accused person was taken to his office, the commissioner shockingly apologized to the accused person and ordered that all the phones of the accused person be returned to him.
“The commissioner then set aside the opinion of the first Doctor that examined the accused person which concluded that there was nothing wrong with the accused person and that he should be taken to the Correctional facility.
“The Police commissioner on his own set up another medical team to re-examine the accused person and give him a report. Meanwhile Imohimi gave total liberty and freedom to the accused person.
“He returned his five handsets to him and he was allowed to parade the Police headquarters freely from one place to the other.
“The Police commissioner then, in violent violation of the Order of Court released the accused person to go home instead of sending him to the Correctional Facility as ordered by the Court.
“The Commissioner of Police in a letter addressed to the Magistrate said he released the accused for medical treatment in Abuja ‘as only the living can face trial’.
“We in the Ministry of Justice say unequivocally that this conduct by the State Commissioner of Police is not only irresponsible and intolerable, it is equally morally reprehensible and legally culpable.
“This action is utterly contemptuous of the Court and is calculated to undermine the authority of the Court in the state,”
When newsmen contacted CP someone who picked up the call simply responded, “He is still in a meeting, wait until he finishes, he cannot interrupt the meeting”.