On this eyewitness report, Mr. Richard Peters who was current on the State Excessive Court docket 1 in go well with No HU/279/2019, between Governor Udom Emmanuel vs Leo Ekpenyong, narrated what transpired.
It was 10:30 am when the matter was known as by the courtroom clerk on the directive of the courtroom and all events had been represented by their respective Legal professionals. Mr. Sam Ikpo main two different Legal professionals appeared for the Claimant, Governor Udom Emmanuel, whereas Mr. Inibehe Effiong with one Mr. Augustine was for the defendant, Leo Ekpenyong.
The Decide requested what the matter was for and the Claimant’s Lawyer knowledgeable the courtroom that it’s for cross-examination of Claimant’s witness (CW3) which was Rev’d Richard Peters, because the final witness of the Claimant.
I used to be known as to the witness field for additional cross examination of which the defence lawyer, Inibehe Effiong commenced by asking me whether or not I do know the results of mendacity on oath, and I answered Sure, my Lord and he now requested me what the results had been and I responded by saying that I can’t recall now and that I do know that it’s not good to lie on oath as a Christian.
He additional requested whether or not I do know that mendacity on oath is a perjury of which I could be prosecuted and I responded that if the courtroom finds out that I’m mendacity on oath, the legislation ought to take it’s trigger. The Protection counsel was not happy by my solutions and he continued asking the identical questions and I additionally responded with the identical solutions.
The defence lawyer additionally requested me whether or not I said in my assertion on oath earlier than the courtroom that I’m an SA to the Claimant within the case, and I responded Sure.
At this Juncture, the Chief Decide sighted a person with a crimson shirt utilizing his telephone to file the proceedings of the courtroom inside courtroom and ordered him to face up and hand over the telephone to police on the entrance door, the courtroom requested the police to verify the telephone, which was accomplished and was found that he was recording proceedings of the courtroom with the telephone and the courtroom ordered for the seizure of telephone.
The Protection lawyer interjected, telling the courtroom that it’s an open courtroom and that the general public is allowed to witness and file proceedings, at this level the decide mentioned no, that he has no proper to video the proceedings of the courtroom with out outright permission of the courtroom, the Decide additional instructed the defence lawyer to proceed together with his cross examination, however he refused and was nonetheless making reference to the seizure of the telephone by the courtroom on the prime of his voice, at this level, the courtroom now instructed the Protection lawyer that that the courtroom won’t tolerate his excesses in courtroom at the moment and that he ought to be severe with the enterprise of the day which was additional cross examination of CW3.
Whereas the Decide was about to place the defence lawyer on file, Inibehe Effiong jumped up and shouted saying “You can not inform him to go away the courtroom, he’s a journalist. He has proper to remain in courtroom and file all what you say so that you simply can not deny. In case you don’t ask him to return again to the courtroom, I cannot sit down and no proceedings will proceed at the moment. My Lord, I’m ready so that you can rescind your order. Nothing will occur at the moment.”
He continued: “I’ve famous the style this courtroom conducts its case, that’s the reason we filed movement for switch of this case to a different courtroom, you refused to listen to the movement. What sort of a Decide are you? It’s essential to hear the movement at the moment or hell will let free”.
Whereas the defence lawyer was insisting on the Decide to listen to his movement and for the seized telephone to be returned to the proprietor, and was speaking whereas the Decide was nonetheless speaking, the Decide instructed the defence lawyer to cease speaking and proceed within the additional cross examination.
Whereas the courtroom was attempting to answer the defence lawyer’s software, he stored shouting, elevating his voice within the courtroom and pointing his fingers on the Decide and mentioned “I’ve seen round policemen on this courtroom, inform them to go away instantly in order that I can conduct my case freely, you don’t have any proper to usher in armed policemen into this courtroom to intimidate me and threaten me. I’ll resist it, when you don’t get them organized to go away, I’ll not sit down”.
Though I didn’t see any arms with the police, nonetheless, the Decide responded by saying that the policemen are defending the courtroom towards any harrassment.
The Decide regularly instructed the defence lawyer to conclude his additional cross examination in order that the information of the courtroom will likely be tidy then the motions will likely be taken, however Inibehe Effiong yelled: “I cannot, it’s a must to do what I say or nothing will occur this morning, I wager you”.
At this Juncture, the courtroom couldn’t comprise the attitudes of the defence lawyer in difficult the courtroom choices verbally and disrupting the courtroom proceedings, the Decide requested him to step out of the Bar and derobe.
The Decide sentence him to jail for a month till he purges himself of the contemptuous conduct.