A/Ibom justice commissioner faults arrest of assembly clerk

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The Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Uwemedimo Nwoko, has faulted the arrest of the clerk and cashier of the State House Assembly by the police. Nwoko said yesterday during a radio programme aired on Inspiration FM, Uyo, that the police are not tax collectors.
The clerk, Mrs Mandu Umoren and cashier, Mr. Monday Akpan, were last week Friday invited and detained by the police over the alleged non-payment of imprest of five All Progressives Congress party legislators whose seats were declared vacant.
It was learnt that the invitation and subsequent detention of the two principal officers, followed a written petition by the lawmakers to the Commissioner of Police, CP Musa Kimo, urging the police to wade into the issue of their December imprest.
The commissioner said the police should not be seen as debt collectors, adding that the aggrieved legislators should have approached the courts not the police for a redress if they deserved to be paid when their offices have been declared vacant.
“The Police are not debt collectors; if the five sacked lawmakers felt they deserved to be paid, they should have gone to court not getting police to start harassing the clerk and accountant of the state House of Assembly”, he said.
When the Police Public Relations Officer, Odiko Macdon, was contacted on the issue, he said the police command has the right to investigate any petition brought before it to determine whether such a petition is criminal or civil in nature. Macdon explained that the two principal officers of the House of Assembly were invited to enable the police investigate the extent of their culpability or otherwise in the issue, adding that investigation is still ongoing.