Inibehe Effiong, a human rights lawyer, has been sentenced to one-month Imprisonment by the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom state, Justice Ekaette Obot.
In a post via his Facebook page, Inibehe said his problem started when Justice Ekaette Obot asked Premium Times reporter to leave the court. The lawyer queried the action of the justice since the hearing in the court is a public event.
He also applied to the Chief Judge to excuse the armed men that were inside the courtroom and at this point, all hell was let loose as the chief judge asked him to step out of the Bar and condemned him to one month at Uyo Correctional facility.
“The Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom ordered a Premium Times reporter to leave the court. I said my lord, we were thinking that since the proceeding is public, that members of the public should be allowed to observe the proceeding. My Lord asked me to proceed with cross-examination.
“I obeyed. I informed the court that I was not feeling comfortable and safe having two armed mobile policemen seated inside the courtroom, that it was strange and that I felt unsafe. I applied for the judge to excuse the armed policemen from the courtroom.
“The Hon. Chief Judge then ordered me to step out of the Bar, that she was sending me to prison. She then ordered the policemen to take me to Uyo prison. And that I should be in jail for one month. I am waiting inside the courtroom for them to bring the conviction warrant.
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“I will be going to the Uyo Correctional Centre now. I have not done anything. I wasn’t even given opportunity to say anything before the “conviction”. Two lawyers in court appealed to the Hon. Chief Judge but my Lord insisted that I must be Jailed,” Inibehe Effiong wrote on his known Facebook page.
The human rights lawyer was in court to defend another lawyer, Leo Ekpenyong, who was sued by Governor Udom Emmanuel for alleged defamation.