The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Uyo Branch, has reacted to the death of one Kubian Akpan, in custody of the Nigerian Police.
Kubiat Akpan, 28, a fresh graduate of architecture, University of Uyo, was arrested by the police on August 29, while he was sitting out with some friends at a popular store in Uyo.
He was reported dead some hours later, tortured by some police officers, his lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, said.
NBA Uyo, in a statement made available to TheNigeriaLawyer signed by its Chairman, Ememobong N. Udoh, condemned the actions and omissions of the police leading to the death of Akpan. According to them, the situation offends Rule of Law and is unacceptable
Udoh said, “The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Uyo Branch received with much indignation the news of the death of Mr. Kubiat Akpan, a 28-year-old graduate of Architecture from the University of Uyo in the hands of men of the Nigeria Police Force, Akwa Ibom State Command.
“According to media reports, the Police Public Relations Officer, Akwa Ibom State Command in a statement has claimed that the deceased was arrested in relation to alleged offences, and died from pre-existing health conditions.
“The NBA Uyo Branch wishes to condemn in the strongest possible terms the events, including various acts of omission and commission on the part of the Nigeria Police, Akwa Ibom Command which resulted in the needless death of a young man fresh out of university, particularly against the backdrop of reports that autopsy revealed signs of torture on the body of the deceased, including bruises and blunt head injuries.
“The Uyo Bar is outraged that an incident like this could still occur even in the aftermath of widely supported public outcry against police brutality in Nigeria which led to the setting up of investigative panels in many states including Akwa Ibom State. For the avoidance of doubt, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is the grundnorm of the land cloaks every Nigerian citizen with inalienable rights including the right to life and right to fair hearing, from which springs the principle that all persons are presumed innocent until pronounced guilty by a competent court of law. The tragic untimely death of Mr. Kubiat Akpan in the hands of the police arising from so called allegations clearly offends all norms of human rights and rule of law, and is unacceptable.”
The Association calls on relevant authorities to launch investigation into the matter and all persons involved be brought to justice. They also their commitment to defending the Rule of Law.
“The Nigerian Bar Association, Uyo Branch calls on relevant police authorities to cause a thorough investigation of this public outrage with a view to bringing all those found culpable to justice. The police hierarchy at all levels must stand up and be counted on the side of the people. Enough of this misery!
“The Uyo Bar wishes to declare its commitment to the cause of defending the rule of law, keeping faith with the masses in defence of their rights and ensuring that the instant grave injury is not swept under the carpet.” the statement reads