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Falana threatens to sue prison officials for alleged torturing of lawyer

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A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, on Thursday vowed to sue prison officials for allegedly torturing a lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, who was detained for contempt of court.

Effiong was sentenced to one month in prison for contempt of court by the Chief Judge of Akwa Ibom State, Ekaette Obot.

The lawyer had reportedly asked the chief judge to recuse herself from a case she was handling.

In a statement titled: “Brutal Torture Meted out to Inibehe Effiong by Nigerian Correctional Service is Unacceptable,” Falana alleged that Effiong was facing torture and ill-treatment from the prison officials.

The statement read: “At the Uyo Correctional Centre, Effiong was forced to sit on the bare floor while his head was shaved together with his beard. He was thereafter subjected to more horrendous humiliation and paraded before all prison inmates.”

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He noted that the lawyer’s maltreatment was a violation of his fundamental right to dignity guaranteed by Section 34 of the constitution and Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.

“The unprovoked violence unleashed on Effiong is a sad reminder of the case of Minere Amakiri, then a reporter with Nigerian Observer, the old Bendel State-owned newspaper whose head was shaved with a broken bottle in 1973 on the orders of Alfred Diette-Spiff, the then military governor of the state.

“In order to prevent Effiong from appealing against the conviction and sentence imposed on him, the chief judge has refused to furnish him with a certified true copy of her judgment in contravention of Section 36(7) of the constitution which prescribes that every convict is entitled to a copy of the judgment of the court that tried and convicted him.”

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