It’s ignorance to think one billion signatures can free Inibehe Effiong – A’Ibom ex-AG
Former Akwa Ibom State Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice, Uwemedimo Nwoko SAN has mocked those gathering signatures seeking the release of human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong.
Effiong was on July 27 controversially sentenced to one-month imprisonment by the Akwa Ibom State Chief Judge, Ekaette Obot, for alleged contempt.
Since the court judgment, many stakeholders including the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and other Nigerians have demanded his unconditional release.
An online petition started on change.org by Project Alert, an NGO, to demand the lawyer’s release has generated 3,691 out of the 5,000-signature mark.
In a reaction, Nwoko said those demanding his release were acting based on absolute ignorance.
The senior lawyer added that “one billion signatures” could not secure the lawyer’s release.
According to him, the right thing Effiong should do as a lawyer was to approach the Court of Appeal to seek redress.
“I condemn the purported actions of certain persons who go round making noise about the conviction. If Inibehe is dissatisfied with his conviction the right thing to do, as a Lawyer is to go to appeal and seek redress. You cannot come back to the court that convicted him and ask that court to set aside its decision.
“The State Chief Judge having convicted him, has given the final decision on the matter. That matter is closed before her. It is only the court of appeal that will now take a second look at the matter and either affirm the conviction or set it aside.
“So those who go round in the streets, saying they are collecting signatures to demand Inibehe’s release are acting in absolute ignorance. A million or one billion signatures cannot set aside the conviction.
“If they like they can live in the social media from morning till night and stay there for ten years, they will not be able to set aside the decision of the court given by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“Let them stop spreading very toxic and infectious ignorance around the Streets. That kind of ignorance those people are spreading, including the NBA is corrosive ignorance and it is condemnable. They should not spread such in the public space,” Nwoko said in a weekend interview.