Amnesty International condemns Inibehe Effiong’s conviction
By Paul Michael
Amnesty International in Nigeria has called for the immediate release of human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong.
In a tweet on Tuesday, the human rights group described as a “travesty of justice” the charges slammed on Mr Effiong by the Akwa Ibom Chief Judge, Ekaette Obot.
“The entire process was a travesty of justice and direct affront on his lawful professional duty as a lawyer,” Amnesty stated.
Mr Effiong was sentenced to one month in prison for “unruly behaviour” while appearing in court for a defamation case between Governor Udom Emmanuel and a lawyer, Leo Ekpenyong.
Mr Effiong had objected to the presence of armed police officers in court.
Although, the human rights lawyer had, in previous sittings, requested the judge to recuse herself from the case for bias.
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Amnesty asked the Nigerian authorities to drop all charges against Mr Effiong.
While condemning the judge’s action, the human rights group said, “Amnesty International calls on the Nigerian authorities to immediately release Inibehe Effiong from arbitrary detention and drop all charges against him as due process was not followed in his committal.”
It added, “The right to a fair and public hearing must be observed at every turn during judicial proceedings. This includes access to the courts and by extension to journalists who wish to observe, record, report and disseminate court proceedings for the public.”
Several rights organisations have condemned Mr Effiong’s imprisonment.
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