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Nigeria: Pressure Mounts for Release of Jailed Human Rights Lawyer Inibehe Effiong

He was sentenced to 30 days in prison on July 27 for contempt of court.

Pressure has continued to mount on the Akwa Ibom State Chief Judge, Justice Ekaette Obot, to release jailed human rights lawyer, Barrister Inibehe Effiong.

On Thursday, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisation in Nigeria and Effiong’s friends protested the continued incarceration and called for his immediate and unconditional release.
The lawyer was sentenced to 30 days in prison by Obot on July 27 for contempt of court.

“We are calling on the CJ to reverse herself. We are demanding 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,” comrade Enefaa Georgewil, spokesman for the coalition, told journalists in Uyo.

The Coordinator of the Coalition of Friends, Family, Colleagues for Inibehe Effiong, Mr Jonathan Abang-Ugal, stated that the main concern was for the human rights lawyer to be released.
Meanwhile, an activist, Mr Ofonime Honesty, has expressed disappointment with the former Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Uwemedimo Nwoko (SAN), whom he claimed had labelled the group as miscreants for demanding the release of Effiong.

“I am the convener of the rights group called Citizen Liberation Movement. This is the second protest, and by doing this, we are not bullying the court. We are only asking for the release of Inibehe Effiong,” said Honesty.

He added, “Peaceful demonstration is enshrined in the constitution of Nigeria. He labelled us as miscreants and even went ahead to threaten that he would slam (an) allegation of contempt of court against us. We wish to tell him that we are not miscreants in this group. I am a journalist. We have lawyers in this group.”

Okon Bassey

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