A dispute over ownership of oil-palm trees in Ukana Ikot Ayara community in Essien Udim Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State has taken an alarming dimension as one of the warring families has died at a police station.
The deceased, Mr. Idorenyin Sunday Isong, according to family members, died on the night of Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at the Headquarters of the Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Uyo, after being detained overnight despite severe injuries allegedly sustained from beatings received from thugs and police officers hired by a certain Aniefiok Udo Umoren, who is involved in an ownership tussle over palm fruits with the deceased’s brother, Ifiok Sunday Isong.
Excerpts from a petition to the Inspector General of Police by Lawyer to the deceased’s family, Barr. Ifiok G. Udofia, allege that the deceased alongside his brother, Ifiok Sunday Isong, had an altercation with their kinsman, Aniefiok Udo Umoren, on Thursday, May 10, 2018.
“Aniefiok Udo Umoren brought out his phone and called some thugs named Idorenyin Sylvanus, Uduak Udo Akpan, and Ekemini Fabian Ette who came to the scene and joined in the argument supporting Aniefiok Udo Umoren.
“The thugs became very hostile and seriously beat up Ifiok Sunday Isong and wounded him in the process by inflicting a machete cut on his head”, the petition explained.
The petition also alleged that on Thursday, May 15, 2018, thugs and a team of police officers from the State Command Headquarters, Uyo, stormed the deceased’s family compound, “beating Ifiok Sunday Isong, his father Sunday Isong, the deceased Idorenyin Sunday Isong and the deceased‘s mother Margaret Sunday Isong with their guns, sticks and matchet in the presence of the village head Chief Obot Eyo and to the utter consternation of other villagers.”
It added that the trio of the deceased, father and brother were taken by police to Uyo and detained overnight.
“On Wednesday, 16th day of May, 2018, one of the brothers to the deceased named Nsikak Sunday Isong went to State Criminal Investigation Department, Uyo, to facilitate the release of his brothers and his father on bail but instead the policemen on duty brought out the corpse home but Nsikak Sunday Isong stoutly refused to accept the corpse but inquired as to what led to the death of his brother to which the policemen could not give a satisfactory answer”, the petition narrated.
The deceased’s father, Mr. Sunday Isong -a 73 year old – while speaking with journalists implored the Akwa Ibom State Government and activists to wade into the matter. He confirmed that his son died in police custody. Checks on his body revealed severe wounds incurred from beatings. His son, Ifiok, also have bruises on his body.
Meanwhile, members of the deceased family have been invited to the zonal headquarters of the Police (Zone 6), calabar, Cross River State, for “investigation.”
The later dated May 31, 2018, demands them to make themselves available by June 5, 2018, by 11:00am.