Lawyer and member of the Nigeria human right and civil society community Mr. Inibehe Effiong has called on the Akwa Ibom State to ensure that the killing of a Nigerian graduate Ms. Iniubong Umoren “is scrupulously investigated and the culprit(s) diligently prosecuted”
Mr. Effiong was speaking at a press conference today on the gruesome killing of the deceased and “the priorities of Akwa Ibom State Government”.
At the press conference, Mr. Effiong lamented the gruesome killing of Ms. Iniubong Umoren and the “alarming high unemployment rate in Akwa Ibom State as well as “the mass poverty in the midst of plenty and the “misplaced priorities” of the state governor
He then made the following demands:
“On behalf the students, civil servants, professionals, Okada riders, artisans, roadside sellers, market women, drivers, pensioners, the poor, hungry and traumatized youths and the masses of Akwa Ibom State who believe in me and what I stand for, I hereby demand that the following should be done by the Government:
- The case of Iniubong Umoren must be scrupulously investigated and the culprit(s) diligently prosecuted. Although judicial workers are currently on strike due to refusal by governors, including Mr. Udom Emmanuel, to comply with the Constitution on autonomy of the Judiciary, we want to see the suspect arraigned in court when the strike action ends.
- A public building or institution in Uyo should be named or renamed after the Late Miss Iniubong Umoren to honour her memory and to constantly remind predators that rape, assault, murder and other forms of violence against women are intolerable in Akwa Ibom State.
- A Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Taskforce should be created immediately with a specific mandate to handle cases of domestic and sexual violence against women in the State. This should be complimented by a Law, dedicated phone lines for victims to call and report abuses, and a Special Court to try cases related thereto.
- The Bill for a law to establish Office of the Public Defender pending before the Akwa Ibom House of Assembly should be accelerated, passed, assented to and given the needed resources to work efficiently.
- The State Government should immediately come up with specific, concrete and verifiable policies and measures to address and significantly reduce the alarming high unemployment rate in Akwa Ibom State.
- Immediate stoppage of the Akwa Ibom State Worship Centre project. The over N11 billion budgeted for this shameful project should be distributed as business grants or interest free loans to 11,000 youths in the State through a credible selection process which should be supervised by representatives of the civil society, professional associations, the World Bank and the State Government.
- The Akwa Ibom State Youth Development Fund Bill should re-passed by the State House of Assembly and assented to by the Governor without delay.
- The new Akwa Ibom State Governor’s Lodge in Lagos should either be sold outright or leased and the proceeds or rents as the case may be should be paid into a dedicated account to be known as Akwa Ibom State Youth Development Fund Account pending the passage of the Akwa Ibom State Youth Development Fund Bill. The money paid into the account should be used to kick-start the implementation of the said Bill upon its passage.
- The Governor’s private aircraft should be immediately advertised for sale and the proceeds used to establish cottage industries across the 31 Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State.
- Allowances of the Governor and other political office holders in the State should be reduced by at least 50%.
- The Governor should sell 50% of the cars in his extravagant convoy and reduce the running cost of the Government House by 70%. The proceeds derived therefrom should be used to revive technical colleges and polytechnics in the State.
- Workers in Akwa Ibom State University should be paid immediately so that the school can reopen to allow students concentrate on their studies and not be vulnerable to crimes and criminals.
- The Governor should forfeit 70% of his security votes which he has never properly accounted for and used the proceeds to invest in agricultural schemes to generate jobs.
- Stealing, dissipation, mismanagement and profligate use of public funds must stop forthwith in Akwa Ibom State. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
- An Independent Judicial Commission on Asset Recovery headed by a reputable retired Judge of the State High Court should be appointed to trace and recover all stolen government assets, funds and properties particularly for the period between 2007 to date. I estimate that this initiative alone if properly done, will lead to the recovery of over N1 trillion Naira from former and serving corrupt State officials.
It is our belief that if the above demands are swiftly attended to, the high unemployment rate in Akwa Ibom State will drastically reduce with a corresponding reduction in cases of rape, abduction, murder and other violent crimes. This is the best way to ensure that Iniubong Umoren and other victims do not die in vain.
However, if the Akwa Ibom State Government continue in her nonchalant attitude to the issues raised and the demands made during this press conference, the youths of Akwa Ibom State will be led on a peaceful protest to occupy the Government House and the State House of Assembly until these issues and demands are attended to. I will happily lead the protest. We did it before, we will not hesitate to do it again. Intimidation from the authorities will not deter us and we shall never be silenced.”
Download full Press Statement below: