… Reclaim The Civic Space Team Hails Cross River CP For Stopping Abuse Of Office
By Archibong Jeremiah and Jonathan Ugbal
Civic Space actors in Calabar, the Cross River capital may have prevented a rigmarole in the criminal justice system after Mr. Emaluji Michael, an apologist of a political faction perceived to be averse to the leanings of pro Benedict Ayade faction of the People’s Democratic Party in that State was spared what may have been a lengthy detention by the Police.
Mr. Emaluji was petitioned by Barrister Alphonsus Eba, the Director General of the Department of Due Process an Price Intelligence who claimed, his life was threatened.
Emaluji had in a now deleted post, shared a photograph of him holding a paintball gun wherein he wrote “I am going to search for Okadigbo, fire 4 fire.”
And, apologists of Mr. Eba who say he goes by the nickname “Okadigbo” called out Mr. Emaluji and Federal lawmaker, Hon. Agom Jarigbe whom Mr. Emaluji is a loyalist to, claiming the lawmaker had begun training people with armed weapons.
Hon. Jarigbe has been at the forefront of what some termed “the battle for the soul of the PDP in Cross River State with Governor Ben Ayade”. Others include Senator Sandy Onoh, Mr. Venatius Ikem and other National Assembly members excluding Hon. Egor Idagbo and Alex Egbonna, a member of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Mr. Emaluji decided to put out a rejoinder.
“My attention has been drawn to a post by Dr. Stephen and Team Alphonsus Ogar Eba saying, Hon. Jarigbe Agom has started sharing arms to his thugs to attack his opponents. I want to categorically state here that, I am Michael Sunday Emaluji and I personally authored my posts and it wasn’t initiated by anyone let alone Hon Jarigbe Agom. My post wasn’t directed to any above mentioned names as claimed by their media bugs. It is laughable to see desperate media bugs take a screenshot of my post to write nonsense to get public sympathy,” he wrote on March 13, 2021.
He added; “You people are so bias that you can’t even differentiate between toy meant for game and real arm. How on earth will a military personnel give a civilian like me a real gun to post on social media? And where is it written that a civilian should be seen publicly with fireman? I’m not oblivious of the law.”
However, Emaluji was contacted by the State Criminal and Investigation Department (SCID) of the Cross River State Police Command that he has a criminal petition that he had to answer to.
And, after informing Civic Space actors including the Reclaim The Civic Space Project, an Open Society Initiative of West Africa (OSIWA) funded initiative for CrossRiverWatch and We The People, over a dozen Comrades accompanied him to the State command of the Nigerian Police in Calabar.
Amnesty International’s Prisoner of Conscience and CrossRiverWatch’s Editor-in-Chief, Agba Jalingo; broadcasters, Diana-Mary Nsan, Awade ‘Last Prophet’ Friday and Kevin Chianan; media practitioner, Modlin Odu among others accompanied Emaluji to the Commissioner of Police office where Mr. Eba was also invited on Tuesday.
At his office, the Police Commissioner, Mr. Sikiru Akande told both parties that “it was clearly political” and sued for a communal solution.
He enjoined them to reconcile and Mr. Emaluji as well as the Comrades who accompanied him all pleaded with Mr. Eba to desist from using State powers to serve his selfish purpose and to pardon Emaluji.
However, most of those present accused Mr. Eba of trying to arm twist the Police to detain Mr. Emaluji, a claim which could not be independently verified as at press time.
He is said to have visited the State Command late Tuesday night to influence that which led to another invitation of Mr. Emaluji despite been asked to go home by the Police.
Upon his arrival at the Operation Puff Adder office, where the matter was assigned to, on Wednesday, the Police kept him and civic space actors waiting for almost two hours before he was asked to leave without further interrogation on Wednesday afternoon.
As at press time, his rights were not violated.
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