A judge in Akwa Ibom State has sentenced human rights attorney Inibehe Effiong to prison for representing a client. The judge’s decision was made in the state.
This information was shared by the attorney in a tweet on Wednesday.
“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,” he wrote via his handle, @InibeheEffiong. “I have just been sent to Uyo prison for one month for defending Leo Ekpenyong in the libel suit filed by Governor Udom
In order to provide further clarification, he stated, “The Chief Judge of Akwa Akwa Ibom ordered a reporter from Premium Times to leave the court.” I addressed the lord and informed him that we had been discussing how, given that the hearing is open to the public, we believed that members of the public ought to be permitted to observe the proceeding. The request to continue with the cross examination came from my Lord.
“I was obedient. I notified the court that I was not feeling comfortable and safe having two armed mobile policemen sat inside the courtroom, that it was odd, and that it made me feel uncomfortable. I also informed the court that I felt unsafe. I asked the judge to let the armed police officers out of the courtroom so that we could proceed.
“At that point, the Honorable Chief Judge gave me an order to leave the Bar and informed me that she was going to send me to prison. After that, she gave the order for the police officers to transport me to the Uyo prison. And that I should spend the next thirty days in prison. I have entered the courthouse and am currently waiting for them to produce the conviction warrant.
“As of right now, I am going to go to the Uyo Correctional Centre. Nothing has been accomplished by me. Before the so-called conviction, I wasn’t even given the opportunity to say anything. Two attorneys working in the courtroom made an appeal to the Honorable Chief Judge, but my Lord demanded that I should be locked up.