The Nigerian Civic Space Protection Alliance (NCSPA), an alliance of CSOs, working for the protection and promotion of a conducive civic space across Nigeria and beyond has condemned the imprisonment and continued detention of Mr Inibehe Effiong by the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State.
A statement by High Chief (Dr) George-Hill Anthony, convener of the group said in a statement on Monday that there was an urgent need to release Effion. He said “Effiong, a human rights lawyer, representing his client has been remanded in prison’s custody on the orders of the state chief judge, who alleged contempt of court or (whatever) against the human rights lawyer.
“Akwa Ibom State is a “Dakada State”, with the state government, projecting the state as a regional tourists’ hub. Dakada means, rise up for good and prosperity, which is the opposite of what a human rights defender will achieve in prison.
“This is equally a blatant attack on the civic space. Nigeria Civic Space Protection Alliance (NCSPA) condemn this sad development wholly. Judiciary is known as the temple of justice…It should, therefore, not be allowed to suffer from democratic inadequacies. The National Judiciary Council (NJC) and Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) should intervene, in view of the expected sacredness of their brand towards justice.
“We urge Her Lordship to harken to social justice through democratic remediation by reversing the order. NCSPA is an alliance of civil society organizations and social accountability stakeholders across Nigeria and beyond. It has a mandate to promote and protect civic space and democratic sustainability in Nigeria.”