Two SANs, 11 Lawyers Sue A’Ibom Chief Judge over Jailed Human Rights Lawyer

By Okon Bassey

The Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Ekaete Obot, has been dragged to court by the jailed Human Rights Lawyer in the state, Mr. Inibehe Effiong.

Thirteen lawyers, including two Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), sued Justice Obot before a Federal High Court in Uyo on behalf of the jailed Effiong.

The lawyers are appearing under Falana and Falana’s Chamber of Ikeja, Lagos State.

The jailed lawyer, Effiong, (Applicant) is seeking a declaration that after being jailed on July 27, 2022, by the chief judge of the state (Respondent) on contempt of court he is entitled to a copy of the judgment within seven days of the conclusion of the case.

He is also seeking a declaration that the refusal of the respondent to make a copy of the judgment available to him since the day of conviction despite repeated application is illegal and unconstitutional.

This, he said, violated Section 36 (7) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

Counsels to the Applicant is also seeking an order directing the respondent to furnish their client with a copy of the judgment delivered on July 27, 2022, forthwith.

The lawyers argued that the applicant is entitled to fundamental right of fair hearing guaranteed by Section 36 of thåe Constitution of the Federal Government of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.

Effiong’s counsel insisted that “the refusal of the respondent to release the judgment despite repeated applications by the applicant has denied the applicant the opportunity to appeal against the judgment.

In an affidavit in support of motion, Secretary in the law firm of the Applicant, Miss Aniema Akpan, maintained that “without any reason whatever, the respondent has refused to furnish the applicant with a copy of the judgment.

 As a result of this, she said that the applicant has not been able to appeal against the judgment before the Court of Appeal.

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