Joe Abang, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Cross River State, has disclosed that he has in the last couple of months, personally financed the operations of the CRS Ministry of Justice, in what observers believe is a disservice to the justice dispensation process in the state.
Abang made the disclosure in a Whatsapp messenger flak he had with Calabar-based human rights attorney, James Ibor. Ibor had lamented on his Facebook page that, “justice in the Cross River State Ministry of Justice is for sale. I am still in shock that the…Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, will shamelessly return a ‘no case to answer’ opinion, to set free the police officers who murdered Stanley Etim. Remember, the police upon our complaint had indicted these officers and dismissed them. SHAME”.
Reacting swiftly to Ibor’s submission, the AG hit back, “…when did private business of lawyers become a matter for Facebook and debate? You guys in Cross River State are very idle. This can never happen in Lagos. I run the moj (Ministry of Justice) from my pocket bc (because) the state is broke”. He threatens Ibor clearly by insisting that, “a word from you again (I) will show you who l am Ok”.
James Ibor has relentlessly pursued a group of policemen suspected to have extra-judicially killed Stanley Etim. While police authorities have found the men culpable and subsequently dismissed them from the police, pressure appears to have been mounted on the state government and the AG particularly, to drop civil charges against the suspects. Nothing better explains this than the AG’s believe that the prosecution of the suspects may hamper the proactive efforts of policemen in crime prevention. He came clear with that in, “…the peace and safety of this society and the life of one man, which is preferable? We just came out of a bad situation because police officers refused to do their work for fear of prosecution and you want me to return to that fearful era”.
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