The High Court of Akwa Ibom State sitting in Uyo, the capital, has remanded one Hon. Uduak Godwin Etim alias King Pele, representing Ward 6 in Ibiono Ibom Local Government Legislative Council, in prison for an alleged kidnapping, attempted murder, assault and trial of a middle-aged woman, Iniubong Essien.
Etim was charged for kidnapping and assaulting Essien whom he falsely accused of stealing part of the money donated to him at his marriage reception.
He was alleged to have conspired with his wife, Aniedi, to kidnap the victim to his village where she was stripped naked and thoroughly beaten.
Following investigation by the police, the accused person was arraigned in court.
His lawyer, Mr Mfon Ben, raised a preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the court and argued that the accused person could not take his plea because the Attorney-General of Akwa Ibom State was bias against him and that the police only recommended that the accused person be charged for assault and not kidnapping and attempted murder.
However, ruling on the said objection on Thursday, the trial Judge, Justice Archibong Archibong, dismissed the objection as frivolous and lacking in merit.
He said, “The allegation of bias made by the accused person against the Attorney-General was baseless.”
After taking his plea, the councillor was then remanded in prison custody pending ruling on his bail application is fixed for November 27, 2019.
Meanwhile, lawyer to the victim, Inibehe Effiong, has filed a fundamental rights enforcement lawsuit against the councillor and his wife at the Akwa Ibom State High Court.
Effiong is asking the court to award the sum of N100m as compensation to his client and to order the councillor and his wife to publish a public apology to his client in national newspapers for the gross violation of her fundamental rights to dignity of the human person, personal liberty and freedom of movement.
The fundamental rights suit has been assigned to Justice Ime Umanah of High Court 6, Uyo.