By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
A Non Governmental organisation, ‘Nude Nigeria-The Best Man’, Next-of Kins- to late Primary School teachers and some concerned youths of Itu local government area of Akwa Ibom State have appealed to the State Chief Judge, Justice Ekaette Obot to release Barr Inibehe Effiong from prison.
The groups made the passionate appeal to the CJ while addressing newsmen during a joint sensitization rally and peaceful protest held at the weekend in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Some of the protesters mostly youths carried placards with inscriptions such as: “Injury to one is injury to All”, “Free Inibehe Effiong Now!, “Justice for Inibehe Effiong”, “We demand for immediate release of Inibehe”
Recall that justice Obot had on Wednesday July 27, 2022 sent the human rights activist and Lagos-based Lawyer, Inibehe Effiong to the Ikot Ekpene correction centre for 30days for alleged contempt.
Effiong was the defense counsel to Leo Ekpenyong in the ongoing Libel case instituted against him by the state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel.
Speaking during the peaceful protest, the convener of ‘Nude Nigeria-The Best Man’, Princess Mikki Attah, noted that her organisation was concerned over the continued incarceration of Effiong whom she described as a law abiding citizen
Asked why she decided to join other voices in calling for Effiong’s release, Princess Attah, noted after reading in the media how Effiong was sent to jail for asking the CJ to send out Securitymen out of the courtroom actually attracted her organization’s attention because it is concerned with society issues including street children.
“We are here because of the continued incarceration of Barr. Inibehe Effiong , a legal practitioner, a Law abiding citizen of the Nigerian society, who has been held in prison custody for contempt of court.
“We didn’t know that he would be kept in prison till today. Today is the 10th day he was sent to jail. So we are here to demand, and to appeal for his unconditional release”, She appealed.
Also speaking, the Youth President of Itu local government area Mr. Ubong Akpan said they were particularly worried that Inibehe, was not given an opportunity to defend himself before he was sent to jail.
He expressed strong believe that after the peaceful protest the Chief Judge would listen to their demand and effect the release of their kinsman, Effiong from prison soon.
Similarly, spokesperson, Next- of-Kins to late primary school teachers in Akwa Ibom State
Mr. Benjamin Benson, said: We are here partnering the NGO, “Nude Nigeria” to advocate for the unconditional release of Barr Inibehe Effiong who was sent to jail by Akwa Ibom State Chief Judge.
“It is worthy to note that Inibehe Effiong had been our Lawyer. When we were arrested in 2017 by the state government, nobody came for us, it was only Effiong that took up our matter free of charge and worked until he ensured we are released.
“Apart from that, Barr Inibehe raised over a million naira for three widows that were dying. So as a group, he means a lot to us. He is very vocal as far as human rights issue is concerned. That is why we are here, to appeal that he should immediately be released from prison”
Meanwhile, the protesters were stopped from getting to the State Judiciary Headquarters Wellington Bassey Way, Uyo as Police officers at the ‘A’ division, numbering over 20 came out and blocked the road.