Friday, September 30, 2022

Effiong: Falana, Fusika, Ubani, Edun, others drag Akwa Ibom CJ to court 

The lawyers are seeking the court’s leave to enforce Mr Effiong’s fundamental human rights.

• August 16, 2022
Ini Effiong and Judge Ekaette Obot
Ini Effiong and Judge Ekaette Obot

Moved by the unjust incarceration of human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, in Akwa Ibom prison, a group of senior lawyers led by Femi Falana and Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika has dragged the Chief Judge of the state, Ekaette Obot, before the Uyo Division of the Federal High Court.

The lawyers are seeking the court’s leave to enforce Mr Effiong’s fundamental human rights.

Mr Effiong was illegally jailed on July 27, 2022 by Ms Obot for one month over purported contempt. 

He was defending his client Leo Ekpenyong who was standing trial for a defamation case instituted by Governor Udo Emmanuel in court when Ms Obot slammed him the jail term. 

The originating processes deposited before the court listed Femi Falana, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, John Aikpokpo-Martins, Monday Ubani  as deponents.

Others include; Olukunle Edun, Funmi Falana, Femi Aborisade, Nsisak Akai, Augustine Asuquo, E.E. Philip, and Joseph Eleh.

In the Application marked FHC/117/FHn/170/22 BETWEEN: Inibehe Effiong AND Honourable Justice Ekaette Fabian Obot, the applicant through his counsel prayed to the court for three reliefs:

“A DECLARATION that the Applicant who was jailed on the 27th of July on the account of contempt of court is entitled to a copy of the judgement within seven days of the conclusion of the case.

“A DECLARATION that the refusal of the respondent to make available a copy of her judgement to the Applicant since 27th of July, 2022 despite repeated applications is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates Section 36(7) of the of the Constitution of the Federal Republic, 1999 as amended.

“AN ORDER directing the Respondent with a copy of the judgement on July 27th forthwith”, it read. 

Peoples Gazette learned that no date has been fixed for the hearing of the case yet. 

Recall that Mr Falana had revealed that the chief judge, Ms Obot, who sentenced the accused had refused to furnish him with a certified true copy of her judgement convicting the lawyer to prison. 

The senior advocate added that the action of Ms Obot was “in order to prevent Effiong from appealing against the conviction and sentence.”

Mr Effiong’s safety in prison custody has been generating concerns among his colleagues in the legal profession who had been lamenting his unjust imprisonment.

Last week, Mr Effiong’s hair and beards were “forcefully shaved” by prison officials at the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) in Uyo. 

But the NCS said its action was the normal security measures and routine practice for inmates in its prison custody. 

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