Court Warns NAPTIP In A’Ibom Of Contempt

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A High Court sitting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, has served a notice of contempt of court order on the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons in the state.
The court had issued two orders to the agency on April 3 and 10, 2019, respectively, asking it to produce two children it allegedly took into custody but the order was not complied with.
The orders followed a suit numbered HU/FC.MISC.5/2019, instituted by one Dorris Daniels and Emmanuel Daniels, against the agency and one Samson Samson for allegedly taking custody of the said kids while the case was still pending in a court of law.
Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Edet Ating, in his prayers had asked for an order of the court, mandating the agency to release the children of the applicants, who he alleged “have been detained by NAPTIP since March 3, 2019 or invoke Section One of the Child Rights Law, which states that “the welfare of the children is supreme” among others.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Winifred Effiong, upon consideration of the application brought pursuant to Order 14 Rule One of the Family Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2013, had ordered that the children be released to the applicants, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
The order reads: “It is hereby ordered that the first respondent, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons should release to the applicants forthwith the children, Joshua Samson and Shekinah Samson, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
“That the children are to be produced before the next adjourned date.”
However, when the next date came up for hearing on April 10, 2019, the first respondent was not in court.
A notice of consequence of disobedience to order of court addressed to the Zonal Commander of NAPTIP reads, “Take notice that unless you obey the directions contained in this order, you will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed in prison.”