An Akwa Ibom-based radio presenter has been arrested by State Security Service (SSS) over leaked audio which reveals why state government sacked epidemiologist, Aniekeme Uwah.
An indigenous sports presenter with XL 106.9 FM in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state had on Sunday 26th of April, 2020 received a phone call from the Director of Operations of the State Security Service (SSS) in Akwa Ibom state Mr Uchechukwu Nnatube, summoning him to report at the SSS Command in Uyo on Monday, 27th April, 2020 over the telephone audio which purportedly went viral.
The first statement released by Kufre Carter lawyer, Inibehe Effiong said;
the SSS in Uyo became agitated the moment our client reported at their Command along with the Deputy Head of Inibehe Effiong Chambers, Mr Augustine Asuquo. The said Director of Operations and other officers of the SSS refused to allow our colleague (Mr Augustine Asuquo) to witness the interrogation of our client. The officers did not only insist that our colleague should leave their premises, they physically escorted him out of the SSS Command” Barr. Inibehe Effiong stated through a press release. In the same vein, contrary to Sections 37 and 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), Barr. Effiong also revealed that the SSS began demanding that Kufre’s private mobile phone be handed over to them so they can retrieve the mobile number as well as the recorded audio he had with the medical practitioner who has since been identified as Dr Kenneth Okono Inyang in a Press release issued by XL 106.9 FM disavowing the action of their staff. Furious with the lawyer’s refusal to comply with these illegal demands, the SSS became very hostile and allegedly resorted to torturing the journalist to get a confessional statement from him. “From all indications, we reasonably believe that SSS officers are torturing Mr Kufre Carter in their custody in their effort to extract a ‘confessional statement’ from our client. The SSS is torturing our client for him to hand over his private mobile phone to them”.
In a new statement released by Kufre Carter lawyer, Inibehe Effiong said;
“AS KUFRE CATER REMAINS IN SSS CUSTODY, XL FM PLAYS THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE
Early on Tuesday, 28th April, 2020, we went to the Akwa Ibom State Command of the SSS in Uyo to see and demand the release of our client, Mr. @KufreCarter, who was arrested and detained on Monday.
“Mr. Augustine Asuquo, the Deputy Head of @InibeheChambers was denied access into the SSS premises. He waiting for several hours in the hope that the SSS will respect basic constitutional rights of our client, which includes the right to visitation by a counsel of his choice.
Despite contacting the Director of the SSS and the Director of Operations, our colleague was denied access into the premises. After they asked him to wait outside the premises for several hours, they finally told him to go that “they will send for him whenever they need him”.
Our client has not eaten since he reported voluntarily at the SSS Command in Uyo on Monday. He has also not had his bath. He has been tortured & treated like a common criminal on the instigation of the state government without legal basis. They have not charged him to any court.
All these is happening because of a purported audio conversation that the SSS alleged that our client had with a doctor over the handling of COVID-19. We also wish to alert Nigerians of the sinister role being played by the Manager and other staff of @xlfm where our client works.
It would be recalled that the Uyo-based “private” radio station issued a false and baseless press statement accusing our client of fictional and imaginary acts.
Instead of defending the rights of their employee, XL FM decided to massage the insatiable ego of the Akwa Ibom State
Government by playing the Devil’s Advocate.
XL FM offered its employee to the Akwa Ibom State Government and the SSS as a sacrificial lamb over a matter that does not concern the radio station.
While we were still reviewing legal actions that we may take against XL FM,
we were shocked to see the Manager of XL FM, Mr. Utibe Ukim, and other staff of the radio station at the SSS Command on Tuesday.
While our client has been denied access to his lawyers for the past two days, Mr. Ukim went into the premises where he held a nocturnal meeting with
the SSS officials in our absence.
Nigerians should ask Mr. Ukim what he went to do at the SSS Command and whose interest he is currently representing in this case?
Whose Pipper is dictating the tunes of Mr. Utibe and his associates at XL FM?
Is this what journalism has become in Nigeria and Akwa Ibom State in particular?
We want to reassure the SSS and the Akwa Ibom State Government that this cowardly attempt to intimidate us will fail.
People fought and died to chase the military out of power in Nigeria.
We will not allow the sacrifices of our heroes past to be in vain.
We will confront & defeat the Little Tyrant of Akwa Ibom State.
We’re exploring available legal options to secure the release of our client even as we continue to demand the unconditional release of our client.
Nobody, no agency of government, and no politician or political office holder is above the law.”
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