AAC kicks as A’Ibom Chief Judge sends lawyer to prison
Akwa Ibom State High Court has ordered that a lawyer, Mr. Inibehe Effiong, be remanded in jail for one month for contemptuous and insulting behaviour in court.
Justice Ekaette Obot ordered that Inibehe Effiong use the correctional facility to purge himself of insolence and dishonorable acts that tend to bring the court to disrepute.
The court, adjudicating on a case of libel filed by Governor Udom Emmanuel against Mr. Leo Ekpenyong, was on its last day for the prosecution to end its case.
Effiong had, despite repeated warnings by the state Chief Judge, constantly accused the judge of being bias, asking her to recuse herself from the case.
Supporting the decision of the court, counsel for Emmanuel, Samuel Ikpo, said he was shocked that a lawyer could utter such damning and profane utterances against a judge.
He said: “I believe that when he comes out of the correctional facility, he will learn how to conduct himself before a court.”
He wondered why Inibehe disobeyed an order by the judge that asked him to take off his wig and step aside from the bar.
“A lawyer should not allow himself to be used by one client to destroy his reputation before all the judges. I think Justice Obot has really been patient with him all this while; even as a lawyer, I could not tolerate the young lawyer’s conduct,” Ikpo added.
BUT in its reaction, African Action Congress (AAC) called for the immediate release of Effiong. A statement signed by AAC National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Femi Adeyeye, stated: “We call for the immediate release of Inibehe Effiong now! Failure to release him with immediate effect would be met with serious mass actions.” AAC claimed that the development was intimidation tactics by the state government.
“The Chief Judge is acting the script of the governor against a lawyer in a legitimate pursuit of his duties,” he alleged.