The Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Research and Documentation, Mr. Nduese Essien, has faulted the involvement of human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, and other senior lawyers in the suit against the State Chief Judge, Justice Ekaette Obot.
Inihehe Effiong, who was sentenced to a 30 days jail term by the Chief Judge of the state for contempt of court, on Monday, instituted a suit at the Federal High Court, Uyo against the CJ, for her refusal to furnish him with his conviction order and copies of court proceedings.
Inibehe, in a suit marked FHC/UY/FHR/170/22, filed through his team of counsel led by human rights lawyer, Falana, alleged that the CJ had ignored his repeated applications.
The legal team include Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika SAN, John Aikpokpo-Martins ( first Vice President, Nigerian Bar Association), Monday Ubani (Chairman, SPIDELL) and Olakunle Edu ( Welfare Secretary, NBA). Others are Funmi Falana, Femi Aborishade, Taiwo Olawunle, Nsikak Akai, Augustine Asuquo, S M Oyegbe, EE Phillips and Joseph Eleh.
But speaking at a media interaction on Thursday, Essien criticised Falana for not showing good example to young lawyers such as Effiong, describing the suit as ill-motivated.
According to him, the suit is a wrong gospel by Falana and his 12 disciples. Such wrong gospel cannot win any legal soul in their favour and that of their drowning client, Inibehe. All we want is that justice should be served, and timely too. We are waiting patiently”.
“Today, it is quite sad and embarrassing that the plot by convicted lawyer Inibehe through outdated tactics to delay justice on the defamation suit against Leo Ekpenyong can receive the signatures of 13 lawyers in the guise of suing the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Justice Obot over a demand that is purely administrative.
“It is evident that Falana and his co-lawyers do not mean well for Inibehe. Otherwise, they would have been more concerned about teaching him how the court works outside Facebook and other social media where his legal practice flourishes more to the point that he was already assuming the status of a self-appointed Solicitor General on Facebook. It was this illusion that blinded him into daring a legitimate court presided over by a State Chief Judge.
“The peaceable and tolerant disposition of Governor Udom has propelled all manners of insidious calumnious campaigns against his person and his government. For example, the allegation that the Governor is ordering the security clampdown on dissenting voices is very baseless and rather laughable.
“But that itself can best be answered by the court of public opinion, where every member of the public can see in Udom, a transparent and accommodating leader who has eschewed political bias in his administration of the state.
“This perhaps explains why a lawyer, Ekpenyong, could throw caution to the wind and go all out to attack the personality of the governor, accusing him of bribing some judges to secure judgement in 2019 in favour of Senator Chris Ekpenyong who had defeated Senator Godswill Akpabio,” he said.