– Says NBA President Would Provide Direction Soon
– Says, The Trial Judge Did Not Follow Known Guidelines For Committal Proceedings

The Chairman of the NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL), Dr. Monday Ubani, has urged fast-rising human rights activist, Inibehe Effiong, to remain strong and determined as he journeys in life, noting that a fair dose of strength and determination is needed as he writes the history of his life.

Ubani gave the charge in a statement allegedly signed by him and titled: “Painfully Inibehe Effiong may spend one month in prison, No thanks to Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom, Hon. Justice Ekaette Obot”.

The statement notes that the committal proceedings for contempt failed to meet the required standard of fair hearing expected in any contempt proceeding under the Nigerian Jurisprudence; stressing that assuming without conceding that Inibehe erred and falls short of the required standard, it nonetheless does not validate the procedure adopted by the Chief Judge in the proceeding.

Ubani, human rights activist and crusader for equal justice, noted that based on ‘known facts’ as reeled out by counsel to inibehe and those present at the proceedings, the acts of inibehe “…. could not have amounted to a contempt” stressing that Judges ought only to be “respected and honored but not worshipped for they are not God”.

“A judge should be of immense temperate mind and character, tolerant and not descending into the arena. Judges carry their weight with honor and must never condescend low to banter with counsels in court. They must be respected and honored but not worshipped for they are not GOD. They remain human beings with flesh and blood!” he said.

The NBA-SPIDEL boss expressed optimize that the NBA president would surely provide some form of direction regarding the situation, expressing abandonment that Inibehe may have to spend the 1-month contempt order at a correctional facility in Akwa Ibom state as the Court of Appeal is currently on Appeal and the trial court seems unmoved to grant any application for bail pending an appeal.

“She is functus officio for now, no doubt. Only the court of appeal can reverse her conviction. Presently the court of appeal is on vacation for one month or thereabout. I am certain that any application for bail pending appeal before her may be a waste of time. She may be happy to have Inibehe in prison, that may be well known. She also may not, who knows, but…” Ubani is quoted to have said

Recall that late in July, the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom had sent Inihebe Effiong to one one-month prison committal on grounds of contempt.

The grounds included the boldness/audacity of Mr. Inibehe in advising Her Lordship on the control of her court when the Akwa Ibom Chief Judge sent a journalist, with Premium Times, out of the court.

Also, his insistence on his safety and freedom to ‘advocate in court’, with two armed policemen allowed to sit at his back, at the instance of the Chief Judge.

Lastly, was on Inibehe’s application for Her Lordship’s recusal from the case, despite a previous ruling on the application against Inibehe and his client.

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