Ekaette Obot, chief judge of Akwa Ibom, has sent Inibehe Effiong, human rights lawyer, to prison reportedly over a plea for safety during court proceedings.
Effiong alleged in a Twitter thread on Wednesday that the judge sent him to prison when he came to court to defend Leo Ekpenyong, a lawyer, in a libel suit filed by Udom Emmanuel, governor of Akwa Ibom.
Narrating the incident, he said the judge had earlier sent a Premium Times reporter out of the court.
“The Chief Judge of Akwa Akwa Ibom ordered a Premium Times reporter to leave the court. I said my lord, we were thinking that since the proceeding is public, members of the public should be allowed to observe the proceeding. My Lord asked me to proceed with cross-examination,” the tweet reads.
“I obeyed. I informed the court that I was not feeling comfortable and safe having two armed mobile policemen seated inside the courtroom, that it was strange and that I felt unsafe. I applied for the judge to excuse the armed policemen from the courtroom.
“The Hon. Chief Judge then ordered me to step out of the Bar, that she was sending me to prison. She then ordered the policemen to take me to Uyo prison. And that I should be in jail for one month. I am waiting inside the courtroom for them to bring the conviction warrant.
“I will be going to the Uyo Correctional Centre now. I have not done anything. I wasn’t even opportunity to say anything before the “conviction”. Two lawyers in the court appealed to the Hon. Chief Judge but my Lord insisted that I must be jailed.
“This is in the suit filed by Governor Udom Emmanuel against a lawyer, Leo Ekpenyong, for alleged defamation.”