Udom’s aides tackle Falana over suit against Akwa Ibom CJ
The media Aides to Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State have tackled a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, SAN, and twelve other lawyers for dragging the state Chief Judge, Justice Ekaette Obot to court for allegedly not releasing the Certified True Copy of court proceedings on July 27.
They described Falana’s and Associates’ action as a height of embarrassment to their legal profile as court proceedings are only provided by Registrar and not the Judge.
It could be recalled that Justice Obot had on July 27, sentenced Mr Inibehe Effiong (Esq), defence counsel to Leo Ekpenyong standing trial for libel against Governor Emmanuel, to 30 days in prison for confrontational act and contempt.
Falana who is a human rights lawyer, however, in a suit against the Chief Judge at the Federal High Court Uyo, prayed the court to direct Justice Obot to produce the Certified True Copy of the July 27 judgement as his client, Effiong is entitled to the copy within seven days of the conclusion of the case adding that the Chief Judge’s refusal violates Section 36 (7) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
But, Governor Emmanuel’s Aide on Research and Documentation, Mr. Essien Ndueso flanked by his counterparts on Project Monitoring, Joseph Okon and Ernest Akpan respectively in a media briefing in Uyo on Thursday claimed that the demand for Certified True Copy is purely administrative, adding that the SAN should approach the appropriate quarters which is the Registrar.
Ndueso who spoke on behalf of other Aides said Falana should be more concerned about teaching his client, Effiong, decorum and respect in court and not champion a ‘watery suit’ against Akwa Ibom State Chief Judge.
He described the suit as part of a plot deployed by the convicted lawyer, Effiong to divert attention and delay justice on the defamation suit slammed against his client, Leo Ekpenyong, stressing that as soon as Effiong exhausts his sentence, the substantive case of defamation against Ekpenyong instituted by the governor would resume in court even as he warned that further deliberate delays of justice on the matter would not be condoned.
Describing the court case instituted by Falana and those they describe as ’12 disciples’ against the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State as ill-motivated, the Governor’s aides maintained that the court case won’t prevent justice from being done on the matter.
Ndueso also dismissed the allegations that governor Emmanuel is ordering a security clampdown on dissenting voices in the state describing the reports as baseless even as he warned the peddlers of the allegation not to misconstrue the peaceful and tolerant disposition of the governor as cowardice.
The statement in parts, “The suit is a wrong gospel by Femi Falana, SAN and his twelve disciples. Such wrong gospel cannot win any legal soul in their favour and that of their drowning client, Mr Inibehe Effiong. All we want is that justice should be served, and timely too. We are waiting patiently.
“It is quite sad and embarrassing that the plot by convicted lawyer Inibehe Effiong through outdated tactics to delay justice on the defamation suit against Barr Leo Ekpenyong can receive the signatures of 13 lawyers in the guise of suing the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, His Lordship, Justice Ekaette Obot over a demand that is purely administrative”.
“It is evident that Femi Falana, SAN, and his co-lawyers do not mean well for Barrister Inibehe Effiong. 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. It was this illusion that blinded him into daring a legitimate law court presided over by a State Chief Judge.
“The peaceable and tolerant disposition of Governor Udom Emmanuel 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 Mr Emmanuel, a transparent and accommodating leader who has eschewed political bias in his administration of the State.
“This perhaps explains why a lawyer, Leo 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 a judgement in 2019 in favour of Senator Chris Ekpenyong who had defeated Senator Godswill Akpabio”.