The mother of a Nigerian journalist, Kufre Carter, has made a passionate appeal for the Akwa Ibom Department of State Security DSS to allow her to see her son who is allegedlly in their custody.
A report by Premiumtimes stated that 27-year-old Carter who works as a journalist with XL 106.9 FM, a local radio station in Akwa Ibom, was arrested on April 27 by the DSS in Akwa Ibom state on allegations that he made defamatory comments against the Akwa Ibom state Commissioner for Health, Dominic Ukpong.
He was reportedly invited for questioning by the SSS in Uyo. He honored it, but was detained afterwards. Before his arrest, the radio station issued a press statement disowning him.
Carter was arraigned two days after his arrest on a three-count charge at a magistrate court in Uyo. One of the charges against Carter read
“That you Kufre Carter Akpan and another now at large sometimes in the month of April, 2020, in Uyo Local Government Area, within the Uyo Magisterial District did record defamatory words against Dr. Dominic Ukpong, the Hon. Commissioner for Health, Akwa Ibom State, while castigating him on the fight against Covid-19 in the state which recording you caused to go viral and be played on social media platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp and other places with the intent to injure his reputation by exposing him to ridicule, hatred and contempt knowing same to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 382(1) and punishable under Section 388 of the Criminal Code, Cap 38, Vol. 2 Laws of Akwa Ibom State of Nigeria”.
The court presided over by Winifred Umohandi, reportedly granted Carter N3 million bail after he pleaded not guilty to the charges. The court ruled that Carter should provide a surety who is either a permanent secretary with the Akwa Ibom State government or a civil servant on grade level 17, in addition to providing a letter from his village head attesting to his identity.
Till date, Carter is yet to meet his bail condition.
His mum was at the DSS office to see her son but was denied access. In a video she made which was shared by Chidi Odinkalu, former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission NHRC, the distraught mum pleaded for the authorities to allow her to see her son.
”I am here in DSS department. I am the mother to Kufre Carter. My son did not commit any crime. Even an armed robber, the family is permitted to him in the cell and see how he is doing. My son did not commit any crime.
To my surprise, the governor of Akwa Ibom state authorized the DSS not to allow me to see my son. I am here by the gate of DSS. They did not allow me and my children to see my son.
I don’t have money. He is the one who gives me small money to eat because I retired since 2016. My Governor refused to give me my gratuity. I am being fed by my son. The state government wants me to die.
I am now on drugs. If I die, God will require my blood from you.
You did not allow me to see my son. What sin did my son commit? Did he kill somebody? Please let me see my child. Please for goodness sake let me see my son” she said
Watch the video below