Inibehe Effiong, a Nigerian lawyer, has been sentenced to 1month in prison by the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Ekaette Obot, after he requested that armed security operatives in the courtroom makes him uncomfortable and he doesn’t feel safe.
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The lawyer said he was in court to defend one Leo Ekpenyong in the libel suit filed by Governor Udom Emmanuel, even though he allegedly didn’t do anything. He quickly made a tweet out to alert the general public on what just happened. His tweet reads;
I have just been sent to Uyo prison by the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Ekaette Obot, for one month for defending Leo Ekpenyong in the libel suit filed by Governor Udom Emmanuel.
The Chief Judge of Akwa 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 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.
Meanwhile, there is already a pending application for recusal asking the Hon. Chief Judge, Justice Ekaette Obot, to recuse Himself. We filed it since 23rd June, 2022. The motion is still pending.
In a follow up tweet, he added that the Uyo prison can’t process him due to Covid protocol, that he’ll have to be taken to Ikot Ekpene prison. His tweet reads;
They’re saying that I can’t be jailed in Uyo prison because of COVID protocol, that I have to be in Ikot Ekpene prison. Uyo prison has rejected me. We are going back to the court now for His Lordship to determine where I should be jailed. History will vindicate the just.