Why judge ordered my imprisonment, says human rights lawyer
Human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, has narrated in a trending video how Honourable Chief Justice of Akwa Ibom State sitting at Uyo, Justice Ekaette Obot, ordered his imprisonment.
In the video, which he made before being taken to prison, the rights advocate said: “We are in court this morning and the atmosphere is very hostile. Immediately my Lord the Chief Judge came in, he ordered policemen armed with AK47rifles to come inside the courtroom, which they did. The proceedings started, and I reminded the court that we have a motion for refusal, and the men were asking the judge to refuse himself from the matter on grounds of likelihood of bias which we have fined. And then the court said we should go ahead with the trial.
While I was cross-examining the witness to the governor, the judge ordered the journalist from Premium Times to leave the court, and I simply said my Lord, it’s an open court, and anyone who wants to observe proceedings is free to observe. The judge now turned on me, and I also said I wasn’t comfortable with armed policemen inside the court because I haven’t seen two armed policemen with an AK47 rifle inside the courtroom, and that it made me feel uncomfortable and threatened. They could be outside, and I applied officially that the court should excuse them from the courtroom. My Lord ordered me out of the bar, to step out of the room, committing me to prison for one month for raising an observation it was not proper for armed policemen to be inside the courtroom.
“My Lord has a warrant, that conviction warrant is brought, and we are waiting for the warrant. I’m going to prison from here. I think it’s an opportunity for me to see the people that are there. I just want everyone to know because whenever we come to the court it is one issue or the other.
“I haven’t done anything to the judge or said anything that is personal. I only raised an observation that it was wrong to have armed policemen in the court and they said I was being rude and asked me to step out of the bar, that I was going to prison. This is case file by this is a case by Udom Emmanuel against a lawyer over alleged defamation.
“Since I got into this matter, it is as if I shouldn’t even have defended this man. We have a pending application for refusal asking the chief judge to refuse himself from the matter. That application has not been taken and is still pending. And I’m being sent to prison for what exactly? The has ordered the policemen not to allow me to step out of the court. I have never this kind of situation before. How do you commit a lawyer to prison for making a formal application in court? Why should armed policemen be in court?”BEWARE All Rights Reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without prior express written permission from Juliana Francis