Alleged Defamation: Judge Sends Human Rights Lawyer Inibehe Effiong To Jail For Defending Leo Ekpenyong

The Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Ekaette Obot, has sent human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, to prison.

Mr Effiong who is handling a case for his client before Justice Obot’s court in Uyo disclosed this in a message he posted on Facebook around 10:40 a.m. on Wednesday.

I have just been sent to Uyo prison by the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Ekaette Obot, for one month for defending Leo Ekpenyong in the libel suit filed by Governor Udom Emmanuel. – He stated

Governor Emmanuel sued Mr Ekpenyong, a lawyer, for defamation of character over the publication in which he accused the governor of “buying judgment” from the 2019 National Assembly Election Tribunal, an accusation the lawyer denied.

The court had ordered Mr Ekpenyong to pay the governor N1.5 billion as general damages for libel.

In another defamation suit between a former senator, Effiong Bob, and Mr Ekpenyong, which is before the same judge, the court had ordered Mr Ekpenyong to pay N150 million as damages to Mr Bob.

Both judgments were given simultaneously on December 15, 2020, by Justice Obot.

The defendant’s counsel, Mr Effiong, on November 25, 2021, challenged the court that it breached the Nigerian Constitution in its judgments against his client.

Justice Obot scolded Mr Effiong for asking the court to set aside the two judgments and grant his application for extension of time for his client to defend himself.

The case attracted public attention last year when the judge lashed out at Mr Effiong.

“You’re not on Channels TV, don’t stand before me and talk nonsense,” she had said.

The court, however, set aside both judgments on February 16, 2022, and granted the application for extension of time as requested by Mr Effiong.