The State Security Service, SSS, has allegedly arrested, tortured and detained Kufre Carter, a sports journalist working with XL 106.9fm in Uyo on the orders of the Akwa Ibom state government.
Kufre Carter was arrested on Monday, April 27, 2020, having reportedly received a call on Sunday, April 26 from the state department of the SSS to report to their office.
Carter posted on his Twitter and Facebook timeline on Sunday evening that he received a phone call from the SSS Head of Operations, Mr. Uchechukwu Nnatube, inviting him to the office over an audio clip about the state of COVID-19 in Akwa Ibom State, which allegedly has his voice as one of the speakers.
Yesterday evening, I received a phone call from the Head of Operations of the SSS in Uyo, inviting me for questioning today by 10:00am at their office over an audio clip about the state of COVID-19 in Akwa Ibom State which they alleged has my voice as one of the speakers— Virgin Boy (@KufreCarter) April 27, 2020
Carter said he briefed his lawyers, Inibehe Effiong Chambers, on the development.
Meanwhile, his lawyer, Inibehe Effiong has issued a press release dated April 27, calling the arrest ‘illegal’ and also indicting the Akwa Ibom State Government on the said arrest.
Effiong said the SSS has violated his client’s fundamental human right of freedom and expression, which “guarantees citizens the right to privacy, including privacy of telephone conversations.”
Effiong also said that Carter is being tortured to extract “confession statement.”
“From all indications, we reasonably believe that SSS officers are torturing Mr. Kufre Carter in their custody in their effort to extract a “confessional statement” from our client. The SSS is torturing our client for him to handover his private mobile phone to them, ” Effiong said.
ILLEGAL ARREST, TORTURE AND DETENTION OF CITIZEN KUFRE CARTER BY THE SSS ON THE INSTIGATION OF THE AKWA IBOM STATE GOVERNMENT.— Inibehe Effiong (@InibeheEffiong) April 27, 2020
On Sunday, 26th April, 2020 our client, Mr. Kufre Carter, received a phone call from Mr. Uchechukwu Nnatube, the Director of Operations of the SSS pic.twitter.com/DzgMMUfph3
“We are aware that the Akwa Ibom State Government instigated the SSS to hunt, arrest, torture and detain our client over the alleged audio record after facing increasing public criticisms over their handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
“From credible information at our disposal, the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, and other officials of the state government are involved in this shameful and illegal actions against our client.”
The statement claimed there is no social distancing at the SSS facility in Uyo, which may expose his client to the deadly coronavirus, while requesting for his release.
“We wish to also place on record that there is no social distancing at the SSS Command in Uyo. We hope that this is not a deliberate attempt to expose our client to the dreaded COVID-19.”
Kufre Carter had a phone conversation with a doctor about the state of COVID-19 in Akwa Ibom State, which was monitored by the SSS and led to his arrest.