Nigerian lawyer Inibehe Effiong on Friday regained freedom after 30 days in prison for alleged contempt.
Effiong left the prison in Akwa Ibom State at about 8:00 am and said he was ‘incarcerated’ for saying the truth.
“I consider it an honour for me to be incarcerated for the truth,” Effiong whose detention drew wide protests said.
In late July, Akwa Ibom State Chief Justice Ekaette Obot ordered Effiong’s detention in prison for one month.
Effiong in a tweet alleged that Justice Obot sent him to prison “for defending Leo Ekpenyong in the libel suit filed by (Akwa Ibom State) Governor Udom Emmanuel.”
The lawyer explained that he complained when the judge ordered a journalist to leave the court.
“The Chief Judge of Akwa Akwa Ibom ordered a Premium Times reporter to leave the court,” Effiong said. “I said my lord, we were thinking that since the proceeding is public, that members of the public should be allowed to observe the proceeding. My Lord asked me to proceed with cross examination.
“I will be going to the Uyo Correctional Centre now. I have not done anything. I wasn’t even opportunity to say anything before the “conviction”. Two lawyers in court appealed to the Hon. Chief Judge but my Lord insisted that I must be jailed.”
Effiong on Friday said his ‘incarceration’ will strengthen his advocacy and fight for truth and justice in the country.
“This voice, till no end, is now louder,” Effiong said.
“I am back, stronger and more determined to confront the forces of oppression and to continue to speak nothing but the hard truth to the faces of the oppressors of our people. I feel sorry for those who thought they can break my spirit by incarcerating me.”
Nigerian activist and presidential hopeful Omoyele Sowore said Effiong “is as defiant as ever.”
“He left prison with 17 inmates languishing in prison. He remains defiant as ever,” Sowore tweeted on Friday.