A sport’s journalist with XL 106.9 FM in Uyo, Kufre Carter has regained freedom after spending one month in the custody of Nigeria’s Secret Police, SSS.
According to a statement from the lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, he was released after the Director-General of the DSS, Alhaji Yusuf Bichi, ordered the DSS Command in Akwa Ibom State to comply with the valid and subsisting order of the Court by releasing his client.
“While we are discomfited with the abusive deployment of the DSS by the Akwa Ibom State Government against our client, we nonetheless wish to thank the Director-General of the DSS for halting the voyage of illegality at the DSS Command in Akwa Ibom State.
“We appeal to Mr Bichi to probe the illegal deployment of the DSS by the Akwa Ibom State Government to arrest our client over a purported case of defamation, which has no bearing whatsoever with it’s statutory mandate under Section 2 (3) of the National Security Agencies Act of preventing and detecting crimes against the internal security of Nigeria.
“Nigerians will like to know how a purported case of “defamation of character” affects the internal security of Nigeria? This probe is necessary to forestall future abuse of the DSS by vindictive, vicious, wicked and oppressive politicians who have failed in their most basic responsibilities to the citizens.
“We wish to express our profound appreciation to spirited Nigerians, the courageous members of the Fourth Estate of the Realm (the media), Amnesty International, the International Press Centre, SERAP, Peoples Alternative Fronts and other members of the civil society and the human rights community in Nigeria for their solidarity in resisting the tyrants of Akwa Ibom State.
“Our client will seek legal redress in court over the violation of his fundamental rights, and will claim damages and public apology and ancillary reliefs”, he stated.
Mr Carter, who works with a local radio station, XL 109.6 FM, in Uyo was arrested on April 27 by the DSS and charged with defamation for “castigating” the Commissioner for Health in Akwa Ibom State, Dominic Ukpong, over his handling of the fight against COVID-19 pandemics in the state.
The continued detention of the journalist by the DSS after he was granted bail by the court had attracted outrage from several Nigerians and rights groups, including Amnesty International, SERAP, the International Press Centre, Lagos, and the Committee to Protect Journalists.