A Public Interest and Human Rights Lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, has been sent to prison by the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Ekaette Obot.
According to the lawyer who narrated what happened on his Twitter handle on Wednesday, he is to spend a month in prison for defending Leo Ekpenyong in the libel suit filed by Governor Udom Emmanuel.
Narrating what happened, he tweeted, “The moment My Lord entered the Courtroom, His Lordship ordered the orderly attached to the court to go out and bring the armed policemen inside the courtroom. I started feeling that there was going to be trouble. After the Premium Times reporter was sent out, I raised the issue.
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“I applied to the Court to ask the armed policemen with AK47 to leave the courtroom, that it was not proper and that I felt extremely unsafe and uncomfortable. My Lord then started writing, I thought it was going to be a ruling on my application to excuse the officers.
“Unknown to me, my Lord was writing committal order to send me to Uyo prison. I wasn’t even given the opportunity to say anything. My Lord just ordered me to remove my wig and gown, that I was going to prison. Meanwhile, we have a pending motion for my Lord to disqualify and recuse himself from the case on grounds of bias or likelihood of bias which. Justice will vindicate the just.”
Nigerians on Twitter have shared their thoughts on the matter. Below are some comments:
From the look of things the judge was already biased from the get go. Political judges. Their time is coming soonest.
We condemn the decision of the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom to arbitrarily misuse her office to unjustly order that a human rights lawyer @InibeheEffiong be sent to prison. This is a grave precedent for our judicial institutions.
No matter how the powers that be treat us ( lawyers) I’ll never regret being a lawyer. I love being a lawyer and I’ll continue to do my job diligently & happily. But make no mistake I’ve every necessary legal arsenal to challenge any rascality no matter where it emanate from.
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