Renowned human rights attorney Inibehe Effiong reportedly said on Wednesday that he would gladly serve a prison sentence instead of making concessions or persuading Mrs. Chioma Edoka Okoli to issue an apology to the CEO of Erisco Foods Limited, according to Sahara Reporters. The reason for the legal conflict is Okoli’s Facebook evaluation of the company’s tomato product. CONTINUE FULL READING>>>>>
Effiong disclosed that he had been under increasing pressure to suggest that Okoli settle with Erisco due to purported police meddling in her personal affairs. According to SaharaReporters, police officers dispatched by Inspector-General of Police Kayode Egbetokun reportedly stormed Okoli’s residence in Lagos for more than ten hours without a court order.
Okoli, initially arrested and detained in September 2023 for her product review, faced renewed police action on Tuesday. Effiong shared a video narrated by Okoli’s husband, Mr. Chizoba Okoli, highlighting the police’s hostile actions, including disconnecting the family’s power supply.
Effiong, known for his unwavering commitment to human rights, stated that he had been pressured to advise Okoli to beg or settle with Erisco. However, he firmly stated, “My attitude to law practice and life, in general, is one of no compromise on matters of principle, truth, and rule of law.”
He continued by sharing his experience of spending a month in prison for refusing to compromise, expressing readiness to face imprisonment again. According to him, “I went to prison for one month for refusing to compromise and I am ready to be imprisoned again. But what I will never do is to capitulate.” When the policemen sent by the IGP told me yesterday that they were acting on the orders of the IGP to re-arrest Chioma, I told them pointedly that the only way they will succeed in doing that is by breaking into her house and that the directive of the IGP is not superior to the restraining order of the court.”
In the context of human rights violations, Effiong urged lawyers in Nigeria to stand against lawlessness by law enforcement agencies and insist on the rule of law. He criticized the practice of forcing victims to apologize or settle under duress, particularly when they haven’t committed any crime. CONTINUE FULL READING>>>>>