NBA President reacts to the detention of Inibehe Effiong at correctional facility in Akwa Ibom State | READ DETAILS

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The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata reacted to the detention of one of our members, @InibeheEffiong , at a correctional facility in Akwa Ibom State

Effiong revealed this via his social media handle in the early hours of Wednesday, 27th July 2021.

“I have just been sent to Uyo prison by the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Ekaette Obot, for one month for defending Leo Ekpenyong in the libel suit filed by Governor Udom Emmanuel.”

He later posted details of the circumstances surrounding his remand on Twitter.

He wrote, “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, that members of the public should be allowed to observe the proceeding. My Lord asked me to proceed with cross examination.

“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 court appealed to the Hon. Chief Judge but my Lord insisted that I must be jailed.”

This is coming after he defended his client, Ekpenyong, in the libel filed against him by the governor.

In suits No. HU/279/2019, between Governor Udom Emmanuel and Leo Ekpenyong, and No. HU/273/2019 between Senator Effiong Bob vs Leo Ekpenyong delivered in 2021 by Justice Obot, the defendant was found guilty of libel and was asked to pay the sums of N1.5 billion and N150 million to the governor and the senator respectively.

However, Effiong, who is the counsel for the defendant, filed a motion for the judgement to be set aside, insisting that his client was not given a fair hearing. The prayer was later granted by the court.

But the defence counsel also filed another motion praying the chief judge to recuse herself from the case, alleging prejudice and likelihood of bias.

Reacting to the issue the President of the Nigerian Bar Association to to his social media handle promise that Mr. Effiong will regain his freedom shortly

He wrote:

I received with great concern the news of the detention of one of our members, @InibeheEffiong , at a correctional facility in Akwa Ibom State, on account of what transpired during proceedings in the court of the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State.

Since receiving the news, I have been in touch with the Chairman of the NBA Uyo Branch who has mobilised his team to look into & address this. This morning, I also mandated the NBA 1st Vice President to visit Uyo immediately to join ongoing efforts & ensure Mr. Effiong’s release.

The NBA is therefore on top of this, and I am confident that Mr. Effiong will regain his freedom shortly.

While not going into the merits of this particular matter yet, suffice it to say that the @NigBarAssoc  is strongly opposed to, and will continue to resist all attempts to intimidate, threaten or harass our members while properly carrying out their professional responsibilities.

The @NigBarAssoc will also not condone acts of indiscipline and insubordination against judicial officers from our members no matter the provocation. Ours is a rule-based profession and there is a procedure for airing grievances.

The @NigBarAssoc 1st Vice President will also conduct fact finding investigation to determine what transpired and recommend next steps.

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