Abiodun OBA


The Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Ekaette Obot, has been sued by the incarcerated human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong.

The lawyer, on Monday, filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Uyo, praying the court to direct Justice Obot to furnish him with a copy of the 27 July judgment.

Effiong also urged the court to declare as illegal and unconstitutional, the judge’s refusal to release the conviction order, as it violates Section 36 (7) of the 1999 Constitution as amended,

Femi Falana, counsel to the plaintiff, in a court document, said Effiong is entitled to a copy of the judgment within seven days of the conclusion of the case.

Effiong was committed to prison on July 27 by Justice Obot, for alleged contempt of court.

He served the first two weeks of his 30 days sentence at the Ikot Ekpene Custodial Center of the Nigeria Correctional Service and was later transferred to Uyo Custodial Centre to serve the remaining days.

Effiong was reportedly abused by prison officials who scraped his hair and beard.

The lawyer’s incarceration on the order of Justice Obot has attracted condemnations across the country.

Several groups have staged protests in Uyo, calling for his release.

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) have faulted the procedure adopted by Justice Obot, in jailing the lawyer.

The NBA president, Olumide Akpata, said the judge denied Mr Effiong fair hearing before committing him to prison.

Justice Obot had, on July 27, sent Mr Effiong to prison after the lawyer objected to the presence of two armed police officers in court.

The lawyer was at Justice Obot’s court to defend his client in the defamation case.

The client, Leo Ekpenyong, is the defendant in the suit filed by the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel.

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