Humans do not know how much value family, friends and well wishers place on them until they run into challenges.
I will be ungrateful if I fail to register my profound gratitude to everyone on this platform.
I do not intend to delve too deep into the matter. I have noticed that a lot of commentaries have been written but I’ll love to point out few issues for public enlightenment.
On Thursday 5th January, 2017 at about few minutes past 10am, men of the Nigeria Police Force arrested me along four lane Edet Akpan Avenue with an allegation that their control room at the State Police Force Headquarters, Ikot Akpanabia had directed that I should be arrested in connection with the black Toyota Corolla car I was driving which they described as stolen.
I immediately inquired from them what they meant by that and together, we proceeded to Ikot Akpanabia.
On getting to the Police Headquarters in Ikot Akpanabia, I queried the control room why they had to describe my car as a stolen car.
But the police women on duty denied the allegations saying that the order to arrest me, the car, the driver and the occupants of my car was from the Surveillance Unit of the Police Force and has no connection whatsoever to car theft.
When the Surveillance team arrived the Control Room of the State Police Headquarters, they paraded me to State CID for interrogation.
It was then very glaring that my arrest was on the instruction of the Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo.
Going forward, a petition from the Deputy Governor of Akwa Ibom State Mr. Moses Ekpo was shown to me by the police.
Mr. Ekpo is pained over a news publication in THE INK Newspapers of Tuesday 13th – Monday 19th September, 2016.
The Paper which I preside as Editor had published a story that the Deputy Governor is allegedly pocketing N250M monthly as security vote.
The petition that got to the police on behalf of the Deputy Governor of the state was signed by Nkopuduk Ekaiko, the Permanent Secretary of the Deputy Governor’s office.
The Deputy Editor and Production Manager of THE INK Newspapers, Emmanuel Akpan, who came for my bail was subsequently detained but later released very late in the evening of that day.
Pals, please permit me not to bore you with Police treatments and experiences. I shall revisit that on a later date.
For now, let me, with all sense of humility say a very big thank you to the media community in Akwa Ibom State and beyond, my indefatigable legal team made up of Okpo Ewa, Ita Duke, David Augustine, Inibehe Effiong, Sammy Etuk, Clifford Thomas and other lawyers, Civil Liberties Organisation, Human Rights Defenders, Senior citizens, the Christian community, traditional institutions, publishers, members of staff of THE INK NEWSPAPERS, the leadership and members of NUJ, Corporate institutions, family and friends for standing by me during that trying time.
Your physical presence at Ikot Akpan Abia and the court, prayers, calls, text messages, online, print, and broadcast commentaries, hash tags, et al contributed in very many ways towards my release on Friday at the Magistrate Court 2.
I cannot thank you enough for the level of solidarity, comradeship and deep show of love you extended to me. It was overwhelming. I am full of thanks.
I see this as a movement for the defence of media practice in Nigeria with Akwa Ibom as a template.
With this spirit of oneness exhibited by all, I am certain that the media in our state can never be gagged and her practitioners can never succumb to intimidation.
With tears of joy, I say a very big thank you for lending your voices, time, energy and resources.
I am hale and hearty.
Let me please inform you that the case has been adjourned to Monday, 13th February, 2017 at the Magistrate Court 2 along FULGA road in Uyo.
I am optimistic that God, standing by us, we shall triumph.
I will love to plead that we stand up also for Jerryz Edoho who was whisked away on Friday 6th January, 2017 by men suspected to be security agents
At this point, let me ask that we remain calm and obedient to constituted authorities.
Please, once again, accept this message from my grateful heart.
I love you all.
God bless us.
Editor, THE INK Newspapers
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