Billboards Demolition: A’Ibom Commissioner Regains Freedom

Dr. Iniobong Essien
Dr. Iniobong Essien

As a fall-out to billboards demolition in Akpan Andem Entrepreneurial Market, A’Ibom Commissioner ferried to Abuja by a Special Squad of Ibrahim Idris, the Inspector-General of Police on Thursday evening for further interrogation has been let off the hook, Straightnews was told.

Dr. Iniobong Essien, the state Commissioner for Environment and Mineral Resources was, on Wednesday, October 17 invited by the squad to the Police Command headquarters, Ikot Akpan Abia in Uyo local government area for interrogation over alleged demolition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign billboards by men of his Ministry.

The State Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr Ini Okopido had petitioned the IGP over the mounting aggression by agents of the state government against campaign billboards erected by the party in the various locations in the state.

Fews days ago, Dr. Essien, Commissioner for Environment, and Mr Imoh Okon, the Chairman of Uyo local government area, were said to have taken over the billboard mounted by APC at Akpan Andem market to put up Udom Emmanuel’s campaign material.

On notification, the APC reported the matter to the police and the duo were arrested and detained by the Special Squad of the Inspector General of Police from Abuja.

Straightnews reliably learnt that the policemen drove Dr. Essien in Hilux jeep by road to Abuja for further interrogation.

But the a Government House source confided in Straightnews that the Commissioner was Friday seen with Governor Udom Emmanuel at Akwa Ibom International Airport, Uyo.

It is said the governor who left for Abuja on Thursday returned to Uyo with his commissioner.

Though the commissioner has been released, it is not yet known if the police will invite him again to answer more queries on the matter.

Some market women were, Thursday, seen in their numbers in at the gate of Government House, Uyo on a peaceful protest over the recent construction of billboards in the prestigious Akpan Andem Market, Uyo.

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“We hereby call on The Presidency, The Legislative arm of government, the Judiciary, Human Rights groups and well meaning Nigerians to call those constructing such massive disastrous billboard waiting to fall on us to order” the women  said.

Straightnews reporter called the ministry on Thursday evening to confirm the story, but the information officer in the ministry said the commisisioner was in his house.

However, DSP Odiko MacDon, the state Police Public Relations Officer did not respond to several telephone calls by Straightnews to confirm or debunk the story.