The African Action Congress, AAC, has called for the immediate release of its National Publicity Secretary, Barrister Inibehe Effiong.
The Akwa Ibom State Chief Judge, Justice Ekaette Obot, on Wednesday sentenced Effiong to one-month imprisonment for alleged contempt of court.
Effiong was in court to defend Leo Ekpeyong in a libel suit against Governor Udom Emmanuel and Senator Effiong Bob against Ekpeyong over alleged libel.
A statement signed by AAC National Publicity Secretary, Mr Femi Adeyeye, noted: “We call for the immediate release of Inibehe Effiong now! Failure to release him with immediate effect would be met with serious mass actions.
The statement observed that Effiong was committed for contempt and ordered to be remanded in Uyo Correctional Centre by the chief Judge in abuse of judicial authority and desecration of what ought to be the hallowed temple of justice.
The Southern Examiner reports that AAC alleged that it is obvious that all these intimidation tactics are the machinations of the state government, under Udom Emmanuel, the Akwa Ibom State Governor who has continued to act like a tyrant in a supposed democracy.
According to the party, “The action of the Chief Judge acting the script of the tyrant governor against a lawyer in legitimate pursuit of his duties, is pure judicial rascality, judicial shamelessness. It is a fruitless conspiratorial attempt to intimidate a counsel, s fighter of human rights in the legitimate activity of representing his client.”
Earlier Wednesday morning the Chief Judge had ordered a lawyer Mr Inibehe Effiong to be remanded in jail for one month over contemptuous and insulting behaviour in court.
Justice Ekaette Obot had ordered that Inibehe Effiong be remanded in a correctional facility to purge himself of insolence and dishonourable acts that tend to bring the court to disrepute.
Court sources claimed that Effiong had, despite repeated warnings from the State Chief Judge, constantly accused the Judge of being biassed, asking her to recuse herself from handling the case.
Speaking on the decision of the court, Counsel to Governor Emmanuel, Samuel Ikpo said he was shocked that a lawyer could utter such damning and profane utterances against a judge.
“I believe that when he comes out of the correctional facility, he will learn how to conduct himself before a court.
He wondered why Inibehe could disobey an order given to him by the judge, who asked him to take off his wig and step aside from the bar and he choose to remain obstinate.
“A lawyer should not allow himself to use one client to destroy his reputation before all the judges.
“I think Justice Obot has really been patient with him all these while, even as a lawyer, I could not tolerate the young lawyer’s conduct”. Barr Ikpo stated.