NBA Vows to Secure the Release of Human Rights Lawyer Inibehe Effiong

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has pledged to secure the release of Inibehe Effiong, the Lagos-based lawyer sentenced to one month in jail by Akwa Ibom State Chief Justice Justice Ekaette Obot .

Effiong was sentenced on Wednesday for defending Savior Imukudo, a journalist with the Premium Times.

In a statement released Thursday and made available to the IJF, Olumide Akpata, the group’s chairman, said the president of the NBA’s Uyo branch had mobilized his team to look into and resolve the issue.

He also instructed an NBA vice president to immediately travel to Uyo and step up efforts to secure Mr. Effiong’s release.

“Without going into the substance of this particular matter yet, suffice it to say that the NBA is firmly opposed to and will continue to resist all attempts to intimidate, threaten or harass our members while properly discharging their professional responsibilities,” said the statement reads.

Akpata assured members of the bar that the NBA was aware of the matter, stating that he remained confident that Effiong would soon regain his freedom.

“The NBA will also not tolerate acts of indiscipline and insubordination against our members’ bailiffs, no matter how provocative. Ours is a rules-based profession and there is a procedure for airing grievances,” the group said.

“The NBA 1st Vice President will also conduct a factual investigation to determine what happened and recommend next steps.”

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