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BREAKING: Nigerian Lawyer, Inibehe Effiong Regains Freedom After Unlawful Imprisonment By Power-drunk Akwa Ibom Chief Judge, Obot


The lawyer, who was jailed on July 27, 2022 completed his term today (Friday), August 26, 2022.

Human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong has been released from prison after the expiration of his one-month sentence.

The lawyer, who was jailed on July 27, 2022 completed his term today (Friday), August 26, 2022.

Earlier, the authorities at Uyo Medium Security Custodial Centre refused to release Effiong after he insisted that he would not leave the prison facility secretly as they had urged him to do.

SaharaReporters reported that the lawyer had completed his one-month remand as ordered by the Chief Justice of Akwa Ibom, Ekaette Obot but the prison authorities still detained him for refusing to leave secretly.


The newspaper earlier reported that Obot had allowed armed policemen wielding AK-47 rifles into the courtroom on June 27, after threatening to jail Effiong for accusing her of being biased and asking her to recuse herself from a case.

It reported that on the same day, in fulfilment of her threat, the judge jailed the lawyer for one month for asking her to recuse herself from a libel suit filed against a fellow lawyer, Leo Ekpenyong by the state governor, Deacon Udom Gabriel Emmanuel in Suit No. HU/279/2019.


Udom Emmanuel had sued Ekpenyong for defamation of character over a publication in which he accused the governor of “buying judgment” from the 2019 National Assembly Election Tribunal.

However, Justice Obot on December 15, 2020, gave judgment in favour of the governor, the Claimant/Applicant. The court found the Defendant liable for defamation and subsequently awarded N1.5 billion against him.

SaharaReporters had on August 11 also reported that some officials of the NCS in Uyo assaulted and tortured Effiong, using blunt instruments to forcefully shave off his beard.

The lawyer was injured in the process, SaharaReporters had gathered.

However, on Friday, August 26, 2022, it was learnt that prison officials asked Effiong to quietly leave the prison at 6 am but the lawyer refused, saying he did not come in secretly and quietly.


“The Nigerian Correctional Services is refusing to allow lawyers and comrades to enter the Uyo Medium Security Custodial Centre facility. Inibehe Effiong has completed his one-month remand ordered by Mma Ekaette, the acting Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom state and he is to be freed from the facility today, but they don't want him out yet. They had asked him to leave silently at 6 am but he refused. They don't want him (Effiong) out yet because they had asked him to leave silently at 6 am and he refused.


“He said the world knew when he was sent in and the world must know as he is stepping out. We are waiting!” a source privy to the happenings in the facility told SaharaReporters on Friday.

SaharaReporters had reported how Justice Obot omitted important details in the record of court proceedings used to commit Effiong to prison.


The judge had refused to release the record of court proceedings within seven days as stipulated by law, instead releasing a doctored record 21 days later, about 48 hours after being sued by the lawyer. Indeed, several attempts made by the lawyer and legal representatives to access the copy of the proceedings were rebuffed by the chief judge until she was sued and pressured to do so.


In the doctored record of proceedings released by the judge, there was no mention that the lawyer had asked her to recuse herself from the case.

She also failed to add that the lawyer had applied that she should order the armed security officers to leave the courtroom as their presence was "creating hostility".

“The proceedings failed to capture the application Inibehe made reminding her of our pending motion for recusal including an application to order the officers with AK-47 to leave the courtroom as their presence was creating hostility in the court thus making it inconvenient for him to continue with his cross-examination of Governor Udom's witness,” a source told SaharaReporters on Sunday.


Meanwhile, Obot had violated Section 36 (7) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

According to the Section of the Constitution, “When any person is tried for any criminal offence, the court or tribunal shall keep a record of the proceedings and the accused person or any persons authorised by him in that behalf shall be entitled to obtain copies of the judgement in the case within seven days of the conclusion of the case.”


SaharaReporters had reported that the judge rushed back from vacation to release a copy of the proceedings, which had been doctored.


A source had said the judge “hurriedly returned from vacation to release the doctored copy of the proceedings”.

SaharaReporters earlier reported that Obot was making moves to forge the court proceedings she used to sentence Effiong to one month’s imprisonment for alleged contempt.


“The Chief Judge is currently working round the clock to doctor the proceedings in which she used to sentence Inibehe after condemnation from right and left.


“Different people have exposed her, even lawyers present in court faulted her decision. The NBA leadership also said that her judgement did not follow due process,” a judicial worker had told SaharaReporters.


Meanwhile, many activists and groups including Amnesty International have called for the immediate release of the lawyer and that the allegations against him should be dropped.