Effiong’s imprisonment: NBA threatens to drag A-Ibom CJ to NJC
The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has threatened to bring Akwa Ibom State Chief Judge, Justice Ekaette Obot, to the National Judicial Council, NJC, for imprisoning human rights activist, Mr. Inibehe Effiong.
On July 27, 2022, Justice Obot condemned the lawyer to one month in prison for apparent contempt, causing worry in the NBA.
Mr. Olumide Akpata, President of the NBA, stated yesterday: “Last week, I provided an update on the NBA’s efforts to secure the release of our colleague, Mr. Effiong, who was remanded in custody on the order of the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State on account of alleged contemptuous conduct in Her Lordship’s court.”
“Unfortunately, attempts to secure Mr. Effiong’s release through sustained engagements at different levels have been unsuccessful with the Chief Judge indicating that she was unwilling or unable to further entertain the matter.
“In the circumstance, the NBA is left with no choice but to work on an appeal against the decision of Her Lordship, and I have instructed the NBA team to work with Mr. Effiong on an immediate appeal. This is not the outcome that we had expected because there is a high chance that Mr. Effiong would serve out his one-month custodial term before the end of the appeal.
“Regardless of the conduct of Mr. Effiong in the courtroom on the date of the proceedings that led to his committal, one thing that has come out from the various accounts that the NBA has so far received is that Justice Obot did not follow due process in the committal proceedings.
“This on its face not only runs afoul of known practice and procedure in such cases but is also unconstitutional. In view of the foregoing and depending on the outcome of our ongoing investigations, the NBA may be forced to take this matter up with the NJC.”