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Breaking: A’ Ibom Chief Judge commits lawyer to one month imprisonment

By Isaac Job

Akwa Ibom High court presided by the Chief Judge of the state Justice Ekaette Obot has remanded Barr Inibehe Effiong to one-month imprisonment at Uyo correctional Centre for alleged contempt during court session The Trumpet gathered.

Our Correspondent gathered that the Chief Judge was furious over contemptuous and insulting behaviour of the lawyer in court.

Justice Ekaette Obot ordered that Inibehe Effiong use the correctional facility to purge himself of insolence and dishonourable acts that tend to bring the court to disrepute.

The Court had sat on Wednesday in the case of libel by Governor Udom Emmanuel against Mr Leo Ekpenyong on its last day for the prosecution to address the court and end all its submissions for judgement.

But Barr Effiong had despite repeated warnings from the State Chief Judge, constantly accused the Judge of being biased, asking her to excuse herself from handling the case.

Speaking on the decision of the court to jail the lawyer, Counsel to Governor Emmanuel, Samuel Ikpo said he was shocked that a lawyer could utter such damning and profane utterances against a judge.

“I believe that when he comes out of the correctional facility, he will learn how to conduct himself before a court.

He wondered why Barr Inibehe Effiong could disobey an order given to him by the judge, who asked him to take off his wig and step aside from the bar and he choose to remain obstinate.

“A lawyer should not allow himself to use one client to destroy his reputation before all the judges.

“I think Justice Obot has really been patient with him all these while, even as a lawyer, I could not tolerate the young lawyer’s conduct,” he said.

The Trumpet gathered that trouble started in the court session when the Judge ordered Premium Times Reporter to leave the court but the remanded lawyer vehemently opposed it.

“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.

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Interacting with newsmen in the court premises before leaving for Uyo Correctional Centre, Barr Inibehe said he obeyed the Judge when she asked him to remove his wig and step aside from the Bar.

His words: “I obeyed. I informed the court that I was not feeling comfortable and safe having two armed mobile policemen seated inside the courtroom, that it was strange and that I felt unsafe. I applied for the judge to excuse the armed policemen from the courtroom.

” The Hon. Chief Judge then ordered me to step out of the Bar, that she was sending me to prison. She then ordered the policemen to take me to Uyo prison. And that I should be in jail for one month. I am waiting inside the courtroom for them to bring the conviction warrant.

” I will be going to the Uyo Correctional Centre now. I have not done anything. I wasn’t even given the 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,” he said.

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