The Akwa Ibom State High Court sitting in Uyo has sentenced one Henry Edet Unung to prison.
Justice Ntong Ntong ordered the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner of Police to arrest Unung and detain him for one month at the Uyo Correctional Centre for refusing to take care of his children.
Justice Ntong ordered the committal while delivering a ruling in a suit brought by the wife of the respondent and mother of the three children.
Ntong said the respondent deliberately refused to obey the Court order and decision of Justice Iboro Ukpanah of November 9, 2018, mandating him to pay N20,000 monthly allowance in addition to a bag of rice, beans, garri and other food items for his children’s upkeep.
“Court made an order that the respondent should pay N20,000 monthly as maintenance allowance, including a bag of rice, beans, garri and other food items for his own children, in addition to payment of their school fees, medical needs, clothing and other necessaries.
“You bluntly refused to abide by the Court order, which amounts to contemptuous and a wanton disrespect and affront to the majesty of the Court,” the judge stated.
The judge further said that in September, 2019, the Court ordered the Registrar of the Court to issue the respondent with Form 48 pursuant to Order Nine, Rule 13 of the Judgement Enforcement Rules and Section 72 of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act 2004 and reminded the respondent to obey the order.
The court held the “conduct of the respondent as satanic and by that, he is in gross contempt of the Orders of the Court and cannot go scot-free.
“The right of a Court to punish whoever disobeys it orders is inherent and legitimate rights and that although the power should be sparingly used, he will make the respondent realize that the welfare of his own children, should not be abandoned.
“The Police should keep the father of three in prison custody for one calendar month before he will be brought before the Court to purge himself of the contempt. By section one of the Child Rights Law 2008 of Akwa Ibom State, any decision taken in any proceedings involving children, should be generally made in the best interest of the child or children.”
The case was adjourned to March 28, 2024.