The detained journalist, Mr. Innocent Orok.
Story by Dili Utomi.
The legal battle between the Rector of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria (MAN) Oron, Comdr. Emmanuel Duja Effedua (Rtd.) and Innocent Orok, the Editor-in-Chief of the Experience Times Newspaper and roamreporters online has taken a new and dangerously intimidating dimension as the Rector has made the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) Police at Panti Yaba, Lagos to invite and detain the maritime Journalist in order to arraign him at the Federal High Court, Ikoyi Lagos, tomorrow, Friday the 10th of June, 2022.
It will be recalled that Emmanuel Effedua a retired military personnel has instituted a libel case against the reporter in September 2021 at an Uyo High Court in the Akwa Ibom State Capital, while neither him nor his lawyers have shown up in all the seven (7) sittings of the court in the last nine months.
In a case tantamount to the abuse of judicial processes, Mr. Effedua decided to apply intimidation and a strong arm tactic by petitioning the Inspector General of Police (IGP) on the same matter, abandoning the court processes he instituted against the Journalist at the mentioned Federal High Court in Uyo in September 2021.
It is important to note that the reporter first got an invitation from the SCID Panti, Yaba on the 2nd of March 2022 and on honouring the invitation with some of his colleagues present, it was discovered that the matter that the Rector instituted at Uyo Federal High Court is the same matter at the SCID Panti, Yaba. However the Police took the court papers and also took a statement from the reporter assuring him that since the matter is already in court , they will not intervene.
Surprisingly, on Tuesday, 7th June 2022, the SCID at Panti called the reporter again and asked him to come over on the 9th being Thursday. The most amazing part is that on getting to Panti, the Police brought out a fresh charge that has been instituted at the Ikoyi High Court on the same matter by the Maritime Academy Rector which is also being attended to in a Court of competent jurisdiction in Uyo.
The police has detained the Journalist in an apparent bid to bundle him to court on Friday.
It is worthy to note again that while the 8th adjournment of the matter is at the Uyo High Court and still subsists, coming up again for hearing on Monday, the 13th of June 2022, the Rector and the Police are replicating a parallel judicial process by charging the Journalist on the same matter at the Ikoyi High court.
This looks like the typical case of intimidation and abuse of court processes and Mr. Innocent Orok would want to let the world know that his life and those of his family members are no longer safe as he calls for the public to be aware of the matter.
The case eventually came up at Court 9 of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi where Justice P.O. Lifo was presided and the Counsel to Mr. Orok, Chief Tony Daniah was able to obtain the bailing of Mr. Orok.
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