Sports Writers Association of Nigeria, SWAN, Akwa Ibom State Chapter has written to the State Security Service, SSS, demanding immediate and “unconditional release” of it member, Kufre Carter.
Carter was detained on Monday at the SSS office in Uyo after taking himself to the station following a call from the SSS Head of Operations on Sunday.
No official statement of his arrest has been made public by the SSS, but his lawyer, Barr. Inibehe Effiong had released a statement on the unlawful detention and subsequent torture of his client.
Carter is said to have leaked a phone conversation he had with a medical doctor, who is said to be a member of the Nigerian Medical Association in Akwa Ibom State, to the public.
The said audio file is said to have exposed certain information about the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Dominic Ukpong on his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
But the State Chapter of SWAN in a release issued on Monday, April 28, 2020, and signed by the Chairman, Comrade Emmanuel Akpan and Secretary, Comrade Theophilus Udoh, has demanded Carter is released with immediate effect.
The release also described Carter as a law-abiding professional, who has no criminal record and can freely express his constitutional right on matters concerning the well being of the state.
It has been alleged that the continued detention of Mr Carter has endangered his life, by exposing to COVID-19 at the SSS facility. The facility Carter is being held is said to have no medical equipment and has not observed any social distancing and other health precautions amidst the growing case of coronavirus in the state.
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Read the full statement below as issued by the SWAN:
SPORTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (SWAN) DEMANDS UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF KUFRE CARTER
The attention of the leadership of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Akwa Ibom State Chapter has been drawn to the arrest and detention of one of its members, Comrade Kufre Carter by the State Security Service (SSS).
Comrade Kufre Carter, who is a sport presenter with XL106.9FM is a registered member and we hereby call for his unconditional release or be immediately charged to court.
Under normal circumstances, we would not have gotten to this stage because as a law abiding citizen, Comrade Kufre Carter had received a phone call to be at the State Security Service (SSS), Akwa Ibom state Command in Uyo on Monday over a purported audio conversation with a medical practitioner on the current fight against Corona virus in the State.
On his arrival at the state SSS office, he was detained and has been there for over twenty four hours without being told of his crime whether criminal or civil.
The continued detention of Comrade Kufre Carter by the SSS in the State has exposed him to a high risk of being exposed to the dreaded Corona virus as the preventive measures are said not to be taken into consideration at his incarceration center which is against the directives of the world health organisation, Federal and State Government on the fight against Corona virus.
As a public affairs commentator that is respected within and outside the State, our member did no harm in doing his comment and as a responsible citizen of Nigeria, he as no record of criminality and as such, should not be treated as a common criminal.
As we demand for his release with immediate effect, we urge the State Government, Human Rights Activists, and right thinking members of the public to join us in calling on the SSS to either release Comrade Kufre Carter unconditionally from detention or be charged to court.
Comrade Emmanuel Akpan
Comrade Theophilus Udo
28th April, 2020.
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