By Ekemini SIMON
The Commission of Inquiry on the Collapsed Reigners Church Building has ordered the release from detention Arc Anietie Augustine, the Architect that handled the building design of the Collapsed Church.
The Chairman of the Commission Justice Umoekoyo Essang (Rtd) in his ruling today ordered that Arc Anietie Augustine who has been in Police custody at the Headquarters of the Akwa Ibom State Command of the Nigerian Police Force be released.
The Commission Chairman said his release will give him the opportunity to provide documents needed by the Commission but insisted that he will be accompanied by police escort to his home to obtain required documents.
The Commission also granted the prayers of the Founder of the Collapsed Church, Apostle Akan Weeks to be given leave of not presenting his evidence today as scheduled until Friday 6th January 2017.
Earlier the Counsel to Apostle Akan Weeks, Barr Ini Ekpo had requested the Commission to avail his client with what he described as a short adjournment to enable him make his memorandum available to the Commission.
“This hearing has come a little too early and we are therefore not ready to give evidence today sir. This commission gave us notice to summit memorandum on or before 4th of January 2017. It is our strong desire that the Commission gives us a little time.” He said.
The Counsel informed the Commission that why the memorandum from Apostle Weeks is not ready is because all the documents about the site is with the structure Architect, Arc Anietie Augustine who he reported is still in police custody.
He said for his client to have access to the documents and present same during hearing, it was imperative for the Commission to give order for his release even as all his efforts to secure his release has proved abortive.
Counsel to the Commission, Barr Friday Itim although argued that It is not realistic that an Architect will be in position of all documents of a building, he conceded that he should be granted bail.
On adjournment plea by Counsel to Akan Weeks, Barr Itim stated that since the counsel to Akan weeks has expressed the desire and readiness to present the memo within 48 hours from receiving the said documents, he thinks it is fair and in interest of justice that he should be allowed to present his case before the Commission.
Meanwhile, the Secretary of the Commission, Barr Emem Daniel revealed that the Commission has received memoranda from the Nigeria Institute of Engineers, Institute of Builders, National Institute of Architects, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria, a Private Citizen, Brigadier Afangide, and the Ministry of Health.
January 4, 2017 has been fixed for hearing.