Akwa Ibom AG justifies lawyer Inibehe Effiongs imprisonment
Posted: 24/Aug/2022

The Attorney General of Akwa Ibom State, Uko Udom (SAN), on Tuesday, justified the recent imprisonment of a lawyer by the state chief judge, saying a judge has the power to decide what is contemptuous in his court.

Udom stated this while answering questions on the human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, who was sentenced to one month imprisonment by the state Chief Judge, Justice Ekaette Obot, over contempt of court.

He spoke with journalists during the ongoing Nigerian Bar Association’s Annual General Conference in Lagos.

Udom said, “I am somebody who was trained in the old school, I am a very conservative lawyer and have no apology for that. We were told that we do not talk back to the judge. If a judge says your conduct or your action or your words are contemptuous to the court, what you do as a lawyer is to apologise and then explain to the court that it was never your intention to be contemptuous.

“Are we saying that the judge does not have the power to commit to contempt? What we were thought is that a judge is the master of the court; a judge must uphold the dignity of the court. A judge is the one that decides whether anything is contemptuous or not.

“Let us remember that the judge cannot protest or call a press conference to explain himself. We must teach our young ones the ethics of the profession.”

The PUNCH reported that Effiong was committed to prison on July 27 by Justice Obot, for alleged contempt of court.

The lawyer’s incarceration on the order of Justice Obot has attracted condemnations across the country.