Judge orders confiscation of observers phones during proceedings
There as a mild drama at State High Court in Uyo, Aka Ibom state when a judge ordered the seizure of phones of observers in the court, following allegation that a counsel Barrister Inibehe Effiong, was allegedly recording a proceedings on his laptop, and allegation he(Effiong) denied.
Penpushing reports that the claimant counsel, Samuel Ikpo, in the middle of the court session, accused Effiong, of recording the court proceedings with his laptop, a development which prompted him (Effiong) to turn his laptop monitor to the claimant lawyer to look at, as a proof that he was not recording.
The Chief Judge, Justice Ekaete Obot, following the development, however, ordered the police to temporarily confiscate mobile phones from observers inside the court to prevent any recording of the proceedings.
Penpushing further reports that, the judge had earlier threatened to send the counsel to prison in a suit in which Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State is a party, and lashed out at Effiong, who pleaded with the court to entertain his application which seeks the judge’s withdrawal from the case after his client, Leo Ekpenyong, accused her of bias.
“I will send you out of there now, remove that robe and send you to prison by the time you go to the Court of Appeal and come back. What is this? You are overstepping your bounds’, Obot declared
Penpushing also reports that, Governor Emmanuel sued Ekpenyong, a lawyer, for defamation of character over the publication in which he accused the governor of “buying judgment” from the 2019 National Assembly Election Tribunal, an accusation the lawyer denied.
The court had ordered Ekpenyong to pay the governor N1.5 billion as general damages for libel, while in another defamation suit between a former senator, Effiong Bob, and Ekpenyong, which is before the same judge, the court had ordered Ekpenyong to pay N150 million as damages to Bob.
Penpushing reports that, both judgments were given simultaneously on December 15, 2020, by Justice Obot, but the defendant’s counsel, Effiong, on November 25, 2021, challenged the court that it breached the Nigerian Constitution in its judgments against his client.
The judge, however scolded the defendant’s counsel for asking the court to set aside the two judgments and grant his application for extension of time for his client to defend himself, a case which attracted public attention last year when the judge lashed out at the counsel.
Penpushing further reports that, it is recalled that, the judge declared that, the council should realize that, he was not on Channels TV, and should not stand before her and talk nonsense, while the court, however, set aside both judgments on February 16, 2022, and granted the application for extension of time as requested by Effiong.
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