Okon Bassey in Uyo
The Akwa Ibom State Government has demanded the immediate resignation of the state Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, for interfering with judicial process and violation of court order.
The state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Uwemedimo Nwoko, made the call yesterday during media interaction in Uyo, the state capital.
Nwoko added that the state police boss would also face immediate prosecution for flouting an order of court which directed the police to commit an accused person to the Correctional Service Centre pending the next adjourned date of March 23.
He explained that the police commissioner aided the release of one Leo Ekpenyong, who was earlier ordered to be remanded in the Uyo Correctional Centre by the court for criminal libel, false publication and terrorism after medical treatment in any government hospital.
“The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the O/C Legal of the Police with the court officials took the accused person to the Police Hospital in 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 apologised to him 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 him 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 to the accused person, returning his five handsets to him and was allowed to parade the police headquarters freely.
“The Police commissioner then, in 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,” Nwoko stated.
The state Commissioner for Justice said he had kept contact with Imohimi, who assured him that he would carry out the court order but was shocked to learn of the accused being release.
Nwoko further stated that Imohimi in a letter notified the Magistrate that he has released the accused person to go unconditionally.He said: “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 police boss 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.“He interfered with a court order, and I have no business to understand it. If there was anything wrong with the court order, he should have gone back to the court to address it,” Nwoko stressed.