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21 Oct 2017

SHOCKER: APC chieftain arrested for alleged cultism, kidnapping

A critic of Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade’s government and All Progressive Congress (APC) Chieftain, Paul Efere has been arrested and detained at the Cross River State Police Headquarters on allegation of cultism and kidnapping.
The suspect was arrested in Abuja and driven to Cross River State, where he was taken straight to the cell at the Police Headquarters.

The APC Acting Chairman in the State, Mr John Ochala told DAILY POST that the arrest was political and not criminal as alleged.

“Paul Efere is an APC stalwart, he is a social critic, he has been fighting for good governance in Cross River State, he has nothing personal with anybody. 99% of his assertions are right, these are all what people see in the state and call for correction”, he alleged.

While insisting that Efere’s arrest was engineered by the government of the day, he said, “you remember the case of Joseph Odock, the case of Hon Paul Adah, the case of Venatius Ikem, this is their own method of preparing for 2019, instead of them facing governance, they are busy intimidating innocent people.

“Is it a crime to say, Mr Governor, govern well, stop putting bailout fund in the account of your brother, is it a crime to say, be prudent in management of resources?

“Efere is one of the respected members of All Progressive Congress (APC) and he has been very vocal, he is one of the few media personalities who have been on the case of present government in the State, even the blind can see that we are being miss-governed in the State and Efere is one of those who have always been putting this miss-governance in front burner and call for a change for better.”

Ochala revealed that Efere was arrested in Abuja, handcuffed and driven to Calabar where he was thrown into a cell without his lawyer and family members having knowledge of his whereabouts.

“If there is any challenge or you want to clarify anything from him, why don’t you invite him to the Police station, why do you go in a juxtapose manner to arrest a free citizen of the federal republic of Nigeria, hand cuff him as a common criminal.

“They did it in such a discreet manner, from Abuja to Calabar, he got here by 3am, Thursday. They wanted to bring him here without the knowledge of anybody and my fear is that they should not poison him in the Police custody. Anything that happens to him, it would be at the door steps of Governor Ben Ayade and the Police. It is very disheartening that in a democratic society such thing could still happen.”

Meanwhile, counsel to Paul Efere, Barrister Utum Eteng told DAILY POST that he has made frantic efforts to see his client but the efforts yielded no positive result.

When DAILY POST contacted the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Ms Irene Ugbo, she confirmed the arrest and detention of the suspect, noting that he was declared wanted by the Commissioner of Police.

“He is a suspect, the Command declared him wanted and he was picked in Abuja and taken to Calabar to answer the charges of kidnapping and cultism leveled against him”, she said.

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