By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
The continued incarceration of the Senior Special Assistant on Security Matters to Governor Udom Emmanuel, Captain Iniobong Ekong (retired) by soldiers in Port Harcourt has become a source of worry to the family.
Captain Ekong was allegedly invited by the GOC 6 Division, Major General Jamil Sarham, to Port Harcourt based on a petition allegedly written by Senator Godswill Akapbio against him.
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday in Uyo, the state capital, Mr. Abasiekong Ekong who spoke on behalf of family and friends of Captain Iniobong Ekong (rtd.) said the family has been highly distressed about his whereabouts since February 22nd February, 2019.
He described the continued detention of Retired Captain Iniobong Ekong alongside Mr. Iniobong Edem, a serving councilor in Nsit Ubium local government area of the state by the army as illegal, adding that if he had committed any offence, he should have been arraigned court in line with section 26 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We are here this morning to brief you and to alert the general public, the National Commission on Human Rights and the International community on the illegal detention and incarceration of our Son, Brother and Friend – Captain Iniobong Ekong.
“Captain Inobong was purportedly invited by the GOC 6 Division – Major General Jamil Sarham, to Port Harcourt on a petition allegedly written by Senator Godswill Akpabio against him.
“Captain Iniobong Ekong has been missing since the evening of 22nd February and the last contact we had with him was a phone call to his office by 5pm on that day. We are yet to receive a formal arrest warrant or legal summons concerning this matter.
“This gentleman has a wife and children, aged patents and siblings, friends and business associates who are highly distressed about his whereabouts since 22nd February 2019. That is eleven (11) clear days since he has been last seen”, the spokesperson stated.
According to the family and friends, if the allegation against Captain Ekong was anything to go by, he should have been arrested by the police and not soldiers as Nigeria is under democratic era and not military.
The family described the continued incarceration and detention of Capt Inioobong Ekong by the soldiers as a crossed abuse of his fundamental human rights.
They therefore, called on the authorities concerned to address this matter and effect the immediate and unconditional release of Captain Iniobong Ekeong and Hon. Iniobong Edem who was last seen with him on the same date.
They also called on President Mohammadu Buhari, Security Chiefs in the Country, National Human Rights Commission, The Nigerian Bar Association, Amnesty International, Constitutional Rights Project, Nigerian Center for Human Rights and Development, Human Rights Monitor, Institute of Dispute Resolution and Human Rights Law Services (Harilaws) as well as other international organisations to come their aid to free them.