The Alleged Victimized Lawyer, Inibehe Effiong
Groups Condemn Barr. Inibehe Effiong’s Conviction By Akwa-Ibom CJ Judge
Two human rights groups, the Centre for Human and Socio-economic Rights (CHSR) and Coalition of Democratic Advancement (CODAV) have jointly condemned the recent conviction without trial of a lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, by the Akwa-Ibom Chief Judge, Mrs Ekaette Obot.
The groups in a statement signed by the CHSR President, Comrade Alex Omotehinse, described the Justice Ekaette’s action as ‘shameful and embarrassment to the Nigeria’s judicial institution’.
Consequently, the two rights groups have called on the nation’s Chief Judge, the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and the Nigeria Judicial Council (NJC), as a matter of urgency, to quickly intervene on justice Ekaette’s act of judicial rascality, else they said will not hesitate to mobilize Nigerians on a serious protest on the injustice against one of their own.
The groups’ statement reads in part: “Based on information gathered, Barr. Effiong’s offence was because he stood as a defending council to one Mr. Leo Ekpenyong in the libel suit filed by Governor Udom Emmanuel, before the Chief judge. The activist lawyer drew the attention of the court to a situation where some armed policemen were displaying guns in the court room.
“Barr. Inibehe Effiong in a viral video on Wednesday, July 27, 2022 explained in detail what transpire in the court room that led to his persecution by the Chief Judge for one month imprisonment at Uyo correctional facility in Akwa Ibom State.
“In the viral video Barrister Inibehe Effiong, explain how he informed the court that he was not feeling comfortable and safe having two armed mobile policemen seated inside the courtroom, that it was strange and that felt unsafe and he then pleaded with the Judge to excuse the armed policemen from the courtroom, but instead the Chief Judge ordered Barrister Inibehe Effiong to step out of the Bar and ordered the policemen to take him to Uyo prison, that he has been sentenced for one month imprisonment.
“It was gathered that other counsel present in the court room swiftly appealed on behalf of Bar. Inibehe Effiong but this was vehemently turned down by the Chief Judge and insisted that his case has been judged.
“We also learnt that there has been a pending motion for the Judge to disqualify and recuse himself from the case on grounds of bias or likelihood of bias in the same suit.
“The CHSR and CODAV, hereby condemned Justice Ekaette’s action as it is shameful and embarrassment to the Nigeria’s judicial institution for denying Barr. Effiong his fundamental human right of fair hearing.
“The CHSR and CODAV therefore calls on chief Justice of Nigeria, the Nigeria Bar Association and the Nigeria Judicial Council to quickly as a matter of urgency intervene on justice Ekaete act of judicial rascality else we won’t hesitate to mobilize Nigerians on a serious protest on the injustice against one of our own.”
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