Court sends father-of-three to prison for neglecting his children

A High Court sitting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, has ordered the immediate imprisonment of a father of three, Henry Edet Unung, for one month, for refusing to take care of his children.

Justice Ntong Ntong directed the state Commissioner of Police to arrest Unung and keep him in the custody of the Uyo Correctional Centre.

The Court gave the order of 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 his brother judge, Justice Iboro Ukpanah dated 9th of November, 2018.

The judge committed Unung to one month in prison for contempt and noted that “the right of a Court to punish whoever disobeys its orders is inherent and legitimate”

While ruling, he said; “The 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 children, in addition to payment of their school fees, medical needs, clothing and other necessaries.

“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” reminding him to obey the Court order, “but the respondent refused to obey.

“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 its orders is inherent and legitimate and although the power should be sparingly used, he will make the respondent realize that the welfare of his children should not be abandoned.

“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.”