Civic Space: Inibehe Effiong Fires Back, Sues Akwa Ibom State Chief Judge, Demands Enforcement Of His Fundamental Rights

In Breaking News, Civic Space

By CrossRiverWatch Admin 

Human Rights lawyer, Barrister Inibihe Effiong has sued Justice Ekaette Obot, the Akwa Ibom State Chief judge over what he described as a breach of his fundamental human right.

Barrister Inibihe who was thrown into prison by the judge last month is asking a Federal High Court Uyo in Suit No: FHC/UY/FHR/170/2022 to enforce his rights to a fair hearing and compel the judge to give him a copy of the judgment with which she sent him to prison.

In the court papers seen by CrossRiverWatch, Inibihe insists that he is “entitled to a copy of the judgment within seven days of the conclusion of the case,” and “that the refusal of the respondent (Justice Ekaette) to make a copy of her judgment available to the applicant (Inibihe) since the 27th of July, 2022 despite the applicant’s repeated application for same is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates Section 36(7) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.”

He is also asking the court to make an order directing “the respondent to furnish the applicant with a copy of the judgment delivered on July 27, 2022, forthwith.”

Miss Anima Akpan, a Secretary in the law firm of Inibehe Effiong Chambers, in an affidavit sworn and deposed to the court stated that “on July 27, 2022, the respondent convicted and sentenced the applicant to imprisonment for one month on account of contempt of court while he was defending his client, Leo Ekpenyong Esq. in a libel suit filed by the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel.”

Anima added that “Upon the instruction of the applicant he applied for a copy of the proceedings of the respondent of July 27, 2022, to enable him to prepare and file an appeal against the applicant’s conviction at the Court of Appeal,” and “after waiting for over 10 days we without receiving the said proceedings, he made a further application for the copy of the order/judgment convicting the applicant on 27th of July 2022 to be given to him but to no avail.

“The refusal to furnish the applicant with a copy of the judgment over 14 days after his conviction is prejudicial to the applicant’s fundamental right to a fair hearing, and denies him the opportunity to appeal against the judgment.”

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