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2 Mar 2019

Police Claim Ignorance As Governor’s Aide Allegedly Arrested By Soldiers On Election Eve Still Missing

The whereabouts of Governor Udom Emmanuel’s security aide remains unknown eight days now after he was reportedly arrested by soldiers in Uyo on the eve of the February 23 general elections.

The aide, Iniobong Ekong, is a retired captain in the Nigerian army and a special adviser on security matters to the Akwa Ibom governor.

The Commissioner of Information in the state, Charles Udoh, had told PREMIUM TIMES that Mr Ekong was picked up by some soldiers in the night on the eve of the elections.

Mr Ekong is yet to regain his freedom, Ini Ememobong, the spokesperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) told PREMIUM TIMES, Friday.
Mr Ememobong corroborated the claim that the governor’s aide was being held by the military.

“We have information that he is being detained in Port Harcourt by the military authorities. The military hasn’t denied that they are the ones holding him,” he said.

He said Mr Ekong has not been allowed to reach his family.

“We are making frantic effort, we are mounting sufficient pressure, we are demanding for his unconditional release.

“We are also stating that as a civilian, he ought to be detained or tried by civil authority,” the PDP spokesperson said.

Aminu Iliyasu, spokesperson for the 6 Division of the Nigerian Army in Port Harcourt, did not confirm or deny Mr Ekong’s arrest. Reached Saturday night, he told PREMIUM TIMES he would have to “find out” about the report.

The police in Akwa Ibom said they were not aware of the matter.

“I read about it on the social media like every other person,” the police spokesperson in the state, Odiko MacDon, told PREMIUM TIMES, Friday.

“I believe an incident of such magnitude should have been reported to the police,” Mr MacDon saidreporty need to make an official report to the police.”

The spokesperson said the police was going to investigate the matter.

Meanwhile, Mr Ekong’s daughter, Pearl, has taken to Facebook to appeal for the release of her dad.

“His right to liberty and dignity, a constitutional right that every Nigerian should enjoy, has been infringed without apology. As I write, no one has come forward with a charge or an accusation.

“A man who has done nothing wrong but given his all to Nigeria, a passionate activist, a father, a husband taken in the middle of the night in a democratic nation? Help us, please. Don’t just read this; share this post until it reaches someone with the power to do something,” Ms Pearl wrote on Wednesday on the social media site.

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