Lawyer representing Agba Jalingo, journalist being prosecuted for raising questions about the whereabouts of N500m earmarked for the establishment of Cross River Microfinance Bank by Governor Ben Ayade, Daniel Kip, has said that the state government is responsible for the trial of the journalist.
He said, “There is no way anybody can run away from the fact that Agba Jalingo’s ordeal is strictly tied to Cross River State and not the Federal Government.
“The amendment that was done subsequently to the charge to make it Federal Republic of Nigeria against Agba Jalingo was just to escape that impression which was glaring. It was to make it seem that it was the Federal Government that was prosecuting Agba Jalingo.
“If it was the Federal Government that was prosecuting Agba Jalingo, why wasn’t the Attorney-General of the Federation prosecuting him? Why were legal officers from the office of the Inspector-General of Police not prosecuting him? It is an irrefutable fact that the government of Cross River State is involved in Agba Jalingo’s ordeal.
“If you read one of the counts preferred against him, it is that he made an allegation against the governor of Cross River State in relation to about N500m channelled towards a microfinance bank. Was that allegation made against the Federal Government?
“To me, the inclusion of the counts in relation to Omoyele Sowore and the RevolutionNow protests that were planned in other places was just to deviate from the actual substance of why Agba Jalingo is being prosecuted. “He is being prosecuted in Cross River State because he has been questioning a lot of executive actions taken by the government of Cross River State. This trial is to intimidate him so that he can keep quiet.”