The Nigeria Bar Association on Thursday has expressed confidence that Inibehe Effiong, one of its members who was jailed in Akwa Ibom, will regain his freedom in due time.
Wuzup Nigeria reported that the Lagos-based lawyer was jailed by the Akwa Ibom State High Court presided by the Chief Judge of the state, over what was called “contemptuous and insulting behaviour in court” during the case of libel by Governor Udom Emmanuel against Effiong’s defendant, Mr Leo Ekpenyong.
However, in a statement released on Thursday, the NBA President, Olumide Akpata, said he has mandated a top official to join the ongoing efforts to secure Effiong’s release.
While noting that the NBA frowns against intimidation and harassment of its members, Akpata revealed that the association acts of indiscipline and insubordination a gainst judicial officials.
The NBA president said, “I have received with great concern the news of the detention of one of our members, Inibehe Effiong, at a correctional facility in Akwa Ibom State, on account of what transpired on Wednesday 27 July 2022 during proceedings in the court of the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State.
“Since receiving this news, I have been in touch with the Chairman of the Uyo Branch of NBA who has mobilised his team to look into and address this. This morning, I have also mandated the NBA 1st Vice President to visit Uyo immediately to join the ongoing efforts and ensure the release of Mr. Effiong.
“The NBA is therefore on top of this, and I am confident that Mr. Effiong will regain his freedom shortly.
“While not going into the merits of this particular matter yet, suffice it to say that the NBA is strongly opposed to, and will continue to resist all attempts to intimidate, threaten or harass our members while properly carrying out their professional responsibilities.
“The NBA will also not condone acts of indiscipline and insubordination against judicial officers from our members no matter the provocation. Ours is a rule-based profession and there is a procedure for airing grievances. The NBA 1st Vice President will also conduct a fact-finding investigation to determine what transpired and recommend next steps.”