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Inibehe Effiong: Claimant, defense counsels bicker over Akwa Ibom lawyer’s conviction

Posted by on August 1, 2022 0

Counsels to Udom Emmanuel and Senator Effiong Bob, Barr. Samuel Ikpo, and Inibehe Effiong’s chambers have continued to bicker over last week’s conviction of the human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong by the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, justice Ekaette Obot.

Effiong was sentenced to one month in prison for contempt during the cross-examination of the last witness, Richard Peters, in a libel suit instituted by Governor Udom Emmanuel and Senator Effiong Bob against Leo Ekpenyong.

Giving his perspectives of what transpired at the court at a media interaction over the weekend, the claimant’s counsel, Barr. Samuel Ikpo Esq, lamented that there has been a lot of untruth and half-truth since the incident happened.

He claimed that the chief judge took the action to commit the lawyer to prison to curtail his excesses which he said the CJ had contained for a long time before now.

He said during the cross-examination of the last witness, the Chief Judge discovered a Premium Times reporter who was recording the proceedings of the court and ordered him out and his phone seized, adding that, that did not settle with the defense counsel who insisted that it was an open court and any person can witness the proceedings.

He further claimed that while the court was trying to respond to the defence lawyer’s application, he kept shouting, raising his voice in the Court, and pointing his fingers at the Judge that he saw policemen in the court and the Chief Judge should order them out otherwise the proceedings will not continue.

He said it was at that juncture that the court could not contain the attitudes of the defence lawyer in challenging the court decisions verbally and disrupting the proceedings and asked him to step out of the bar and disrobe.

He said afterward, the Judge sentenced him to prison for a month until he purges himself of the alleged contemptuous conduct.

However, the head of Inibehe Effiong Chambers, Uyo branch, Barr Augustine Asuquo described as blatant lies the claim of the claimant’s lawyer, stressing that his boss’s committal to prison was ‘unwarranted and unthinkable.’

In a press statement entitled, “Incarceration of Barr Inibehe Effiong by CJ, Akwa Ibom state, Hon justice Ekaette Fabian Obot; the truth you must know” Effiong said while he was cross-examining the witness, the CJ interjected and decided to know a man in a red shirt who later identified himself as a reporter from Premium Times and was later sent out by the CJ after his phone was confiscated.

He said that Effiong told the court that defendant’s trial is in open court, therefore the public is allowed to observe the proceeding and the Judge insisted that nobody is allowed to record the proceedings without being permitted by the court.

He said the defense counsel made another observation of the presence of two armed police officers with AK47s behind him in the courtroom and asked the CJ to direct them to leave as their presence had made the atmosphere tense.

He added, “My Lord in response said that the armed officers are protecting him. While Inibehe was still addressing the court, the court was writing and none of us knew that my Lord was writing on my colleague’s committal to prison. Soon after the writing, my Lord raised his head and yelled at Inibehe to step out of the court and derobe. Surprisingly, Inibehe asked my Lord why and my Lord said I’m sending you to prison. He said in amost regrettable manner.”

Inibehe Effiong: Claimant, defense counsels bicker over Akwa Ibom lawyer’s conviction


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