By Aplefe Ojong
The Cross River State Ministry of Justice has written the Inspector General of Police (IGP) seeking the immediate arrest of suspended University of Calabar lecturer, Mr. Joseph Odok.
This followed Mr. Odok’s petition to the IGP which mentioned the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Mr. Joe Abang in a case of criminal conspiracy and attempted murder.
Mr. Abang is said to have gotten a call from one Sgt. Oyama in the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department, Abuja on January 20, 2018 to report in Abuja to answer to a petition bordering on a case of criminal conspiracy, unlawful possession of firearms and attempted murder.
But, in a letter dated January 24, 2018, titled: “RE: Alleged Investigation Of The Attorney General Of Cross River State And Other Government Functionaries” and signed by the Solicitor General and Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Justice in the state, Mr. Peter Bassey, the State claimed that Mr. Odok is a suspect currently taking refuge in Abuja.
The letter sighted by CrossRiverWatch described Odok as a “wanted fugitive who is now taking refuge in Abuja after refusing to surrender himself for investigation at the Cross River State Police command for conduct likely to cause breach of peace and inciting the good people of Cross River State against the Cross River State Government.”
The state argued that the Ministry of Justice had on December 5, 2017 petitioned the state Police Commissioner to “investigate the criminal activities of Joseph Odok who had taken to social media, inciting the public against the Governor and other senior officers of the state, addressing serving government officials as cultists and assassins all in a desperate frenzy to discredit the Cross River State Government.”
CrossRiverWatch findings reveal that the above stated letter informed the decision of the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department to write the University of Calabar on December 14, 2017 requesting the release of Mr. Odok for investigation by the police.
The state which described Mr. Odok’s petition as a “dramatic turn around and attempt to escape investigation and criminal prosecution,” requested the Police to arrest and hand over Mr. Odok to the Cross River Police command for “investigation and possible prosecution.”
However, the state said though the power of the police to investigate Mr. Abang was “constitutional and sacrosanct,” it dismissed the allegations against him as a “façade, politically motivated and founded in baseless falsehood deliberately contrived and fabricated in a bid to frustrate the attainment of justice.”
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