Eleven women who are wives of eleven policemen presently under detention at Cross River State police command in Calabar, are languishing in pains, trauma, hunger and deprivation.
The women have therefore jointly written a petition to the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, calling for his intervention and ensure the release of their husbands, who they said have been in detention for the past 13 months.
The women expressed surprise that the authorities have preferred to endanger the lives of their husbands, little children and some of them who are pregnant by holding down their breadwinners, making them go through unbearable pain and psychological trauma.
The women, led by Mrs Janet Ewa, wife of ASP Raphael Ewa, spoke to news men on Sunday after their weekly prayer sessions.
She narrated the circumstance that led to the prolonged detention of their husbands.
Mrs Ewa said on the April 17, 2014, at about 2.30 am, the officer in charge of the Special Anti- Robbery Squad, ASP Horsefall Minafuro, received a distress call that armed robbers were operating at Atimbo, in the eastern axis of Calabar and the man along with eleven other operatives “went to the scene of the robbery and upon seeing a police van, the robbers opened fire prompting the SARS squad to engage the robbers in a gun battle and six of them were killed while others escaped into the bush.”
The lady said during the exchange of gunfire, the windscreen of the police patrol van was damaged while the police recovered various items at the scene including firearm, expended ammunition, and the vehicle used by the robbers, a KIA PICANTO saloon, which were taken to the police headquarters as exhibits.
“Many people in the city were glad when they heard the news of the killing of the robbers particularly their ringleader, PIKIN and even the then Cross River State Security Adviser, Mr Rekpene Bassey wrote a letter to the State Police Command commending the police for the success over the robbery gang.
“The host community, Akai Efa , where those robbers were terrorizing also wrote a letter of commendation to the police, but it became a matter of concern to us and the people of Calabar that one of the mothers of the robbery suspects fearing the stigma and infamy that might come upon the family, generated a case of kidnapping against one of the SARS operatives which eventually metamorphosed to the incarceration of our husbands for the past 13 months.”
The women said the salaries of their husbands were stopped since September 2014 which has inflicted severe hardship on them and some of their children and wards have dropped out of school.
“I wish you could imagine the psychological trauma that we have gone through in the past twelve months that our husbands have been in detention for doing their work to help keep society safe.”
They appealed to the Inspector General of Police to help facilitate the release of their husbands.