Man petitions House of Reps over unlawful arrest, detention of brother by Army

Elizabeth AtimeFebruary 21, 202412 min

He urged the House to prevail on the Nigeria Army Military Police to release Mfonmma who has been in detention for 10 days.

Mr. Nsisong Mfon Effiong has called on the House of Representatives to ensure the immediate release of Mfonmma Mfon Effiong, who was unlawfully arrested and detained by the Nigerian Army Military Police, Mambilla Barracks Brigades, Abuja.

Presenting a petition before the House on behalf of the petitioner, Rep. Clement Jombo (APC, Akwa) appealed to the House to prevail on the Chief of Army Staff to order Nigeria Army Military Police, Mambila Barracks Brigades, Abuja, to release Mfonmma who has been in detention for 10 days.

The lawmaker said Effiong was arrested following the order of his employer in Abuja on unfounded allegations that he was a kidnapper.

He also urged the Speaker of House of Representatives to call on the Chief of Army Staff, to order for a thorough medical examination and treatment of Mfonmma.

He also pleaded with the House to call on the Chief of Army Staff to “order a full scale investigation into the Unlawful arrest and detention of a civilian without transferring Mr. Mfonmma Mfon Effiong to civil police for proper investigation or charging the matter to a competent law Court, for proper hearing.”

He explained that Effiong lived with him in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, until recently when he relocated to Abuja to get a job.

Narrating the development that led to the arrest and detention, he said, “In late December 2023, my younger brother, Mr. Mfonmma Mfon Effionge relocated from Calabar, Cross River State where he stayed with me to Abuja to fend for himself, but had to stay with his friend, Mr. Patrick in his family house and was accommodated by Patrick’s family until he was linked by one lady identified as Mrs. Beatrice Tolu-Omole who resides in Abuja to work for the occupant of No. 18 IJ Yahaya Close, NAF Valley Estate, Asokoro, Abuja(Occupant name yet to be known, but can be identified) as a driver.

“Mr. Mfonmma Mfon Effiong started working with the occupant of the above residential address as a driver in early January 2024. The work atmosphere was tuneful for Mr. Mfonma Effiong up until his January salary was paid by his madam, the occupant of No. 18 IJ Yahaya Close, NAF Valley Estate, Asokoro, Abuja, where he failed to pay 50% of his first salary (January salary) to the Mrs. Beatrice Tolu-Omole, the agent that linked him for the job as a driver.

According to Mr. Mfonmma Mfon Effiong when he called me on the phone the day the incident happened, the act of not paying 50% of his first salary to Mrs.Beatrice Tolu-Omole was not intentional, that he did not understand that he needed to have paid 50% of his first salary to her. 

“He pleaded with Mrs. Beatrice Tolu-Omole that he forwarded the money to his Baby Mother to pay School fees for his 3-year-old son and also to get a few needs for his months-old-daughter, without knowing that he was supposed to have paid some percentage to Mrs. Beatrice Tolu-Omole.

“Also, according to Mr. Mfonmma, Mrs. Beatrice Tolu-Omole accepted the plea and hoped for him to comply when February 2024 salary is paid, but his employer, the occupant of No. 18 IJ Yahaya Close, NAF Valley Estate, Asokoro, Abuja, (name not known but can be identified) was infuriated and started abusing him verbally, stressing that he has been eating free food in her house, stay in a free accommodation without paying utility bills.

“This verbal abuse by his employer came after Mrs. Beatrice Tolu-Omole had called and reported him to his employer. He also pleaded with his employer that the mistake of not paying 50% to Mrs. Beatrice Tolu-Omole was not intentional, but the more he pleaded, the angrier his employer became and kept abusing him. In that same call and conversation with my brother.

“Mr. Mfonmma Mfon Effiong informed me that he will resign from his appointment and leave his employer’s compound, which I advised him to communicate to Mrs. Beatrice Tolu-Omole who linked him to the work and he did the same and moved back to Mr. Patrick’s family house.

“The following day Mr. Mfonmma Mfon Effiong called and informed me in the morning that his employer had been sending him text messages since he left her house, begging him to come back and continue working, which according to him, his employer also called and sent him some money to get some fruits for which he did.

“When he got to his employer’s house, they resolved the issue and he continued with his work as a driver. Since then, I have been keeping in touch with, Mr. Mfonmma Mfon Effiong through phone calls until Saturday, 10th of February, 2024, at night when I called his phone and noticed that the one with the phone number 07068636363 was switched off while the one with the number 08103415866 rang but no one responded and I called twice that night. 

“On Sunday, 11th February, 2024, towards evening time, I called both phones but the one with 08103415866 rang without response while the other phone was still off. I was a bit worried as it became unusual for my brother to miss my calls and not return the calls.

“On Monday, 12th February 2024, at about 6:45 am, I received a call from a strange phone number 07080509323 and the caller asked me; “am I speaking with Nsisong?” and I replied yes ma. She continued, “I am calling you from Abuja, my name is Mrs. Beatrice Tolu-Omole based in Abuja. I am Mfonmma’s friend and I have been trying to reach out to him for some days now and his phone numbers are not connecting.

“Have you heard from him recently?” I replied that the last time my brother and I spoke on the phone was on Saturday, 10th February 2024, in the evening, since then I could not reach out to him and she said she would call his Aunty, Patrick’s mother to call him.

“After an hour, I called back Mrs. Beatrice Tolu-Omole to know if she had been able to reach out to Patrick’s mother and she said she called her and that Patrick’s mother said she would buy airtime and call Mr. Mfonmma Mfon Effiong.

“After calling Mr. Mfonmma Mfon Effiong’s phone Numbers and getting the same result, I called Mrs. Beatrice Tolu-Omole again and she asked me if my brother had disclosed to me who linked him to the work in Abuja and I replied her that the only information I got from my brother is that the lady who linked him to work with his employer is from Akwa Ibom State but based in Abuja. She also asked me if my brother had told me the person’s name and I replied no.

“The communication ended there. I kept calling my brother’s phone number 08103415866 which was ringing from late Saturday, 10th February 2024, to the early hours of Tuesday, 13 February 2024 without anyone picking up the calls.

“When the phone that was ringing finally turned off, I became intensely worried and had the feeling that all was not well with my brother. I called Mrs. Beatrice Tolu-Omole again on that same Tuesday, 13th February 2024, at about 7:15 am to send me Patrick’s mother’s phone number and she delayed sending the number to me, which I had to call Mrs. Beatrice Tolu-Omole again and again before she finally sent me the number.

“Immediately, I called Patrick’s mother and introduced myself as Mfonmma’s brother, I enquired from her concerning my brother’s whereabouts if she had any information about where he worked and she said that her daughter, named Blessing was the one who went on Mfonmma’s call to help him park his belongings the day Mfonmma had an issue with his employer and then decided to resign.

“Immediately, I mobilized for Blessing to go in search of Mfonmma since I was based in Calabar, Cross River State, and could not immediately get to Abuja. Blessing did as I requested her to do and at about 11:50 am, Patrick’s mother called to inform me that Blessing called and informed her that Mfonmma’s employer was very aggressive on seeing her standing by the gate trying to enquire from the gateman of Mfonmma’s where about.

“Also according to Patrick’s mother, Blessing told her that Mfonmma’s employer in her aggressiveness asked her who showed her her residence and that if she wasted more time by her gate she would order her arrest, and Blessing speedily left the environment. 

“When I heard about this development, I had to find my way from Calabar, Cross River State to Abuja through a night bus at Enugu on the same Tuesday, 13th February 2024, and I arrived in the early hours of Wednesday, 14th February 2024, and first put a call to Mrs. Beatrice Tolu-Omole who claimed to be my brother’s friend in Abuja, informing her that I am in Abuja and will like to see her to get information on how to go about searching for my brother.

“On hearing that I was in Abuja, she ended my call and did not take my calls anymore. I then had to call Patrick’s mother to tell Blessing to meet up with me so that we could go to NAF Valley Estate and lay a complaint to the management of the Estate which we achieved but all efforts made to reach out to my brother proved futile, even as Mfonmma’s Employer the occupant of No. 18 IJ Yahaya Close, NAF Valley Estate, Asokoro, Abuja and Mrs. Beatrice Tolu-Omole failed to cooperate with the Investigation Team of NAF Valley Estate and we did not know whether Mfonmma Mfon Effiong is Alive or Dead.

“After searching for Mr. Mfonmma Mfon Effiong for 7 days, on the 8th day, Sunday 18th February 2024, the Nigeria Military Police, Mambila Barracks Brigades, Abuja finally agreed that they were the ones detaining Mr. Mfonmma Mfon Effiong without access to contact any of his family members or friends. But not for my persistent search for Mr. Mfonmma Mfon Effiong, nobody would have known that the Nigeria Army Military Police, Mambila Barracks Brigades, Abuja were the ones detaining him as he wasn’t granted access to contact any of his family members or friends.

“On granting 2 minutes to physically interact at a distance with Mr. Mfonmma Mfon Effiong on Sunday, 18th February 2024, the 8th day of his detention; I asked him since when has he been under detention and he said he has been under detention since on Sunday night, 11th of February, 2024, but that his employer first locked him up in the toilet from morning of that Sunday till when she called the Nigeria Army to come and take him away. I then asked him, what was your offense and he said that his employer accused him of being a kidnapper, and that while in confinement, his two phones were taken for DSS Profiling and Forensic auditing and it was found that he was innocent of the allegation as no records of calls, chats or text messages related to kidnapping discussions were found in his phones. 

“He has begged his employer to allow him to go or even allow him to contact any of his family members but he was denied access to call his family members or anyone.”

Elizabeth Atime

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