By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
The Coalition of Civil Society Organization in conjunction with friends of Inibehe Effiong, on Thursday protested continued incarceration of the human rights lawyer and called for his immediate and unconditional release.
Effiong was sentenced to 30-days in prison by the chief judge of Akwa Ibom State, justice Ekaette Obot, on July, 27,2022 for contempt of court.
The spokesperson of the coalition, comrade Enefa Georgewill, while speaking with newsmen before the protest rally in Uyo, said the CJ’s action is an attempt to subdue lawyers, so as to silence them anytime they have case against any powerful individual in the society.
He condemned the way and manner the lawyer was committed to prison, adding that from the accounts of what happened, the CJ acted premeditatedly
His words: “We are calling on the CJ to reversed herself; we are demanding for the immediate release of Inibehe Effiong, and we are equally calling on lawyers and litigants not to stand and watch.
“This is a ploy to intimidate lawyers, so that they will not be able to speak. So that when you have any case against the rich, a governor, or anybody in power you will be scared, so this fight is not just about Inibehe.
“It is the fight for the soul of democracy. We as civil society believe in sanctity of the court and we equally believe that only justice can pave way for any democratic society.
” But in the specific case of Inibehe and the way and manner he was sent to prison speak doom for the hallow court. The NBA had previously said that assuming but not conceding that Inibehe was even wrong due process was not followed in his case.
“From all the accounts we have had from both parties, especially the media that was there, clearly, what happened was premeditated.
In our years of going to Court, the only time you see a policeman as an orderly of the judge who stands behind the judge, not armed but at times with short pistol.
” But on that fateful day two mobile policemen with AK-47 were inside the court, this shows that all of these things were planned”
Also, speaking, Coordinator, Coalition of Friends, Family, Colleagues For Inibehe Effiong, Mr Jonathan Abang-Ugal said though they have heard different perspectives of what transpired, their concern is for Effiong to be released as the judiciary would go on vacation on Friday.
“Our concern now is for out friends and colleagues, Inibehe Effiong to be released”, Abang-Ugal said.