There has been a lot of backlash and national condemnation following the imprisonment of Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Inibehe Effiong, who was committed to one-month at the Uyo Custodial Centre on July 27 by the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom state, Justice Ekaete Obot for alleged ‘contemptuous conduct’ while he was in court to defend a colleague, Leo Ekpenyong, in a libel suit filed by the governor of the state Udom Emmanuel.
Speaking on TVC’s morning show TVCBreakfast with Sam Omatseye and Kemi Fola-Adeyemo, Falana stated that Inibehe Effiong was convicted for contempt, but having looked at the records, listened to reports, nobody has been able to come out to define what exactly the ‘Contempt’ was about.
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The decision to sentence Inibehe was also timed, according to the human rights activist, because the court of appeal was on holiday.
Falana claimed that all Inibehe did was inquire as to why media were being ordered to leave the courtroom despite the fact that it was a public hearing.
“Inibehe suddenly saw two policemen with AK-47 rifle behind him in the car, he also complained at that stage and without any explanation, they just said remove your wig and gown.
“Go to the dock, you’re hereby sentenced to one-month imprisonment,” he said.
Falana, who stated that he did not comprehend the purpose of the sentence, added that “no one was able to articulate what the contempt was about.”
“Is it for complaining against the policeman bearing two AK-47 or for the application of file which was not taken”.
Falana added that this was politically motivated harassment since Inibehe Effiong has been demanding accountability, justice, and fair play in Akwa Ibom state, which was the basis for his harassment.