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Ukonne, Nigerian Journalist, begins enforcement of ₦5m judgement against Police



Lynda Ukonne versus CSP Ekene Nwosu

Miss Lynda Ukonne, a freelance journalist and law graduate of the University of Uyo, has set machineries in motion to compel CSP Ekene Nwosu, the Officer in Charge of the Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police, Akwa Ibom State Police Command, to pay the sum of 5 million Naira awarded to her by the State High Court in Uyo, the state capital.

The court presided over by Justice Theresa Obot, on August 3, 2023, awarded the said sum to Miss Ukonne against Nwosu, alongside the Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State Command, Inspector Anthony Uchebunjo of the State Criminal Investigation Department, Raymond Amu of the State CID, and Mabel Inyang of the Anti-Robbery Squad.

Justice Obot also awarded the sum of 100,000 Naira against the respondents to cover the cost of litigation.

The court ruled that the detention of Miss Ukonne and torture was unlawful, unconstitutional and satanic.

CSP Ekene Nwosu

CSP Ekene Nwosu

An injunction was also placed by the court against further arrest, harassment and detention of the claimant by the respondents or their agents.

Ukonne, a member of the Insight Newspapers Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalist, Akwa Ibom State Council, narrated how she was invited to the state police command on May 11, 2022, on grounds that her brother was arrested over an alleged involvement in a robbery attack.

Upon arriving the anti-robbery unit of the police, she however discovered that it was contrary to what she was told.

She made enquires about the case and requested to see her brother. The police, however, declined the request.

In her statement on oath, Ukonne explain that upon seeing her brother’s friend, David Esene and his sister, Shalom Esene, being handcuffed, chained and kept beside the interrogation room, she walked over and had a discussion with them.

It was then she learnt that Shalom was reportedly raped by a certain Williams.

The incident made David and Lynda’s brother, Daniel, pursue the suspect to his parents’ house where he was reportedly shielded by family members.

Interestingly, the suspect’s family later went to the police and lodged robbery complaints against David and Daniel (Lynda’s brother).

A mobile phone was the alleged item being robbed of or stolen.

The police upon realizing that Ukonne was obtaining statements from the persons, descended on her, beat her to pulp, detained and rendered her incommunicado for three (3) days.

On the day of her release, effort was made by the police to forcefully make her thumbprint on a prewritten statement which she declined.

She insisted that the matter be taken to a court of law.

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David and Shalom (the purported rape victim) were released after reportedly paying the sum of two hundred thousand Naira (200,000 Naira) as bail fee.

Comfort Eshiet (David’s girlfriend) was also set free.

After being released, Ukonne filed for violation of her fundamental human rights while the police went to magistrate court Holden in Uyo to file a case bordering on assault and impersonation.

Ukonne won the fundamental human rights case but the assault and impersonation case filed by the police has been transferred to the Magistrate Court, Ibesikpo Asutan LGA.

The transfer followed Ukonne’s petition on likelihood of bias by the Magistrate Court, Uyo.

In a chat with Diaspora Digital Media, Ukonne said that having obtained the enrollment order, she will go further to get a garnishee order.

A garnishee is a judicial proceeding commenced by a person who has obtained a monetary judgment in his favour against a person, whether natural or juristic, who is believed to be in custody of the property belonging to the judgment debtor, which is capable.

The Ukonne’s case aside, an on-air-personality, John Obot, who recently attempted to break the Guinness World Records for longest reading aloud marathon, also had a case with the Nwosu.

Lynda Ukonne and other victims of CSP Ekene Nwosu, John Obot, Zion Umoh

Lynda Ukonne and other victims of CSP Ekene Nwosu, John Obot and Zion Umoh

He narrated to our correspondent:

“I was returning from the studio on Tuesday 24th May, 2023, when I stopped at a shop along Ikot Ekpene Road in Uyo, opposite former Solid Rock Kingdom Church, to purchase some edibles.

Then I crossed to enter Ikot Ebido Street, heading home.

“In front of the church was a small group of about 5 persons who were drinking and perhaps smoking.

“I greeted them and was about to pass when a police van slowed down to a halt.

“The folks ran away while I continued walking to my direction.

“Suddenly, the officers alighted from the van and rounded me, asking me to give them the marijuana I was smoking.

“I told them that it was ridiculous as I was not in possession of anything like that.

“They searched my pockets, slapping me severally in the process as I tried to assert my rights, and found nothing incriminating on me.

“Suddenly, one of them produced some weed which he claimed to have picked from the ground and which belonged to me; I became angry and we engaged in verbal exchanges.

“I insisted that they were bent on implicating me illegally. They brought out handcuffs and dragged me into their vehicle.

“They drove me for some hours, stopping by at various drinking spots to take local gin.

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“At such spots one of them will come to persuade me to settle them, which I resisted, telling them that what they were doing was illegal and that as a media worker I would expose them.

“After driving me round town, we finally arrived at the Anti-robbery Squad office at The State Police Headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia.

“They dumped me in their office with three other guys I met there. This was around 12:00am of Wednesday 25th May, 2022.”

He continued: “At dawn, the officers in charge of the office arrived and I started to question the legality of my detention there, which attracted beatings, threats and physical torture on my person.

“I told them that aside from being a media worker that I was also a human rights activist and insisted that they were acting outside the boundaries of the law.

“This further inflamed them and attracted more threats and physical abuse of my rights.

“The supposed IPO, one Judith, was bent on threatening to deal with me. She later abandoned me at that office and went to court.

“Within the period I was under detention at that office, I saw raw abuse of human rights of suspects leading to serious wounds and trauma.

“Suspects were made to give statements under duress and monies were obtained from their relatives for bail.

“When the O/C in charge came to see me, he also threatened me with a prison sentence, stating that I was stupid to challenge the police instead of cooperating so that they could set me free.

“He said that a drug test should be conducted on me to ascertain my drug use, which I gladly surrendered to.

“I was taken to the police medical services center at Ikot Akpan Abia twice without any test being conducted.

“While going there, I was paraded in handcuffs on the road, rubbishing my image before passersby, some of whom knew me but were fearful of inquiring.

“When I was finally brought back to the station, One Barr. Mfon Ben, a regular guest on our program, saw me and told them he me.

“He told them to let me go but they simply repeated their false accusations and further threats to me.

“They then took me to a cell of about 20 suspects, where I was abused, beaten and exposed to germs in the cell toilet.

“After about an hour, I was taken out of the cell and asked to write an undertaking that I won’t have anything to do with drugs.

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“This I did, having sworn not to enter that cell again. At this point, I was asked to wear my clothes and go. This was at about 6:00pm.”

Also, Justice I. J. Essien of the National Industrial Court, has been alleging that Nwozu is after his life.

Justice Essien, in a petition accused him of “unprofessional conduct.”

“I was held hostage by men suspected to be cultists brought by Boniface Edem and a woman who claims to be acting on Nwosu’s instructions.”

The judge appealed to the State Commissioner of Police to call the cop to order.

Activist, Mr Zion Umoh, for demanding for the release of a seized saloon car allegedly in custody of Ekene, was arrested, tortured, stripped naked and put in incarceration for several weeks.

Barr Philip Eseme is another victim of the high-handed cop.

He wrote on Facebook after being released from Ekene’s custody at the state police command headquarters:

“I will be the last Lawyer to be intimidated by a Police Officer in the course of carrying out my professional duties.

“CSP Ekene Nwosu threatened me, personally arrested me and ensured I was detained for hours.

“They threatened me to produce a client of mine because I demanded for the release of my client’s Toyota Camry Car in their custody.

“This is a public notice to the whole world that should anything happen to me CSP Ekene Nwosu should be held responsible.

“My father served Nigeria meritorious as a combatant soldier for 35 years with distinguished service award.

“He fought for Nigeria in several countries and retired meritoriously.

“He never used his position and weapons at his disposal as a tool for oppression and intimidation.

“I grew up with the very purpose of making Nigeria a better place and the likes of CSP Ekene Nwosu cannot stop me.

He has threatened my life directly and indirectly I no longer feel safe in a Country my father paid the ultimate prize to protect. Intimidation, harassment and threats are tools employed by those who doesn’t know their job.”

The mentioned cases are few in a long list of petitions and court judgements against Nwozu.

Complaints to the headquarters of the Nigeria Police have not yielded results as Ekene has not been sanctioned.

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