Mrs Agnes Akpan, the mother to popular sports journalist,football pundit and a media Consultant Kufre Carter alias Virgin Boy a staff of XL 106.9 FM,Uyo, detained by the SSS for allegedly criticising the Akwa Ibom state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong,over the mismanagement of the coronavirus in the state,has carried out a solo protest outside the State Security Service office in Uyo the Akwa Ibom state capital. Agnes Akpan, protested outside SSS office in Uyo on Thursday after she was denied access to her only son. The incident is generating uproar among the media especially bloggers,over recent intimidation from government officials. The media has condemned this development in very strong terms and called for the unconditional release of all media persons held hostage by government. A media rights activist Emmanuel Udoh described “the incident as outrageous and opined that the case no matter what should be resolved within the shortest time.That the freedom of the press must remain sacred in a constitutional democracy.” His lawyer Inibehe Effiong of INIBEHE EFFIONG CHAMBERS,said he “see no reason why the SSS is denying the family especially the mother and sister of the journalist,Kufre Carter from seein him and reiterated his confidence on the judiciary,that he is sure his client will regain his freedom.This is not the first time my client’s mother has tried to see her son in custody and was chased away as usual by the SSS. However,while we wait the application we filed at the State High Court praying for the variation of the bail conditions already granted my client by a magistrate court without a legal representation. We call on all people of goodwill to speak up against this injustice,and request that the SSS explain to the world when or how a purported case of “defamation” became part of its statutory mandate,we call on the President of Nigeria,the Director -General of the SSS,the National Human Right Commission,the International Community,the civil society,the media to prevail on the on the SSS and the Akwa Ibom State Government to respect the fundamental human rights of our client and injustice to one is injustice to all.” The section 36(5) of the Nigerian Constitution is sacrosanct and our client should be allowed to benefit from it.We are not worried by the charge of “defamation” initiated against our client,but we are appealing for adherence to rule of law,respect for the fundamental rights and a fair trial as guaranteed by sections 36(4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,1999 (as amended) We are ready to face the government in court.” All efforts by our source to speak with the media officer of the SSS office Akwa Ibom State was not successful.
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Sat May 9 , 2020