The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has said it would appeal the one-month jail sentence handed a Lagos-based lawyer Inibehe Effiong by Akwa Ibom Chief Judge Justice Ekaette Obot for alleged contempt.
NBA President Olumide Akpata said efforts to free Inibehe by diplomatic means had failed, following Justice Obot’s unwillingness or inability to “further entertain the matter.”
According to Akpata, the NBA’s findings suggested that the Chief Judge did not follow due process in the committal proceedings.
He alleged that Effiong was allegedly neither put in the dock nor accorded a fair hearing before the judge convicted and sentenced him.
He added the association could escalate the “unconstitutional” proceedings up to the National Judicial Council (NJC), which has the power to, among others, probe and sanction judicial officers.
Justice Obot last Wednesday sentenced the activist-lawyer to one-month imprisonment for alleged contemptuous behaviour.
The judge made the order during proceedings in the case of alleged libel instituted by Akwa Ibom Governor Udom Emmanuel against a lawyer, Mr. Leo Ekpenyong, who is Effiong’s client.