Tag Archives: Agba Jalingo

Justice sule charges Agba Jalingo N10m bail


Justice Sule Shuaibu of the Federal High court in Calabar, Cross River State, has granted the bail application of journalist and rights activist, Agba Jalingo.

Agba who is the publisher of CrossRiverWatch, was arrested on August 22nd 2019, over a report alleging that Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade, diverted N500 million belonging to the state. He is standing trial on charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony and attempt to topple the Cross River State government.


While ruling on his bail application, Justice Shuaibu set the bail bond at N10 million with one surety in like sum. The judge ruled that the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and his address must be physically verified. Also, he must show means that he will be able to forfeit the bail bond.

”The surety is expected to deposit N700,000 cash with the registrar of the court who will then pay it into an interest yielding account with a commercial bank” while Jalingo must seek the permission of court to travel out of the country if he wants to travel.

Agba Jalingo must deposed to an oath that he will be available in court while he and his surety must present two passport photographs.”

Last week, the Cross River State government took over prosecution of the matter despite denying allegations that the Governor, Benedict Ayade, was behind Jalingo’s ordeal. The trial had drawn local and international attention with several individuals and organisations demanding his unconditional release


#Newsworthy…

Update: Agba Jalingo pleaded before new judge


The incarcerated publisher of Cross River Watch, Agba Jalingo, who is facing terrorism charge is to appear before a High Court on Thursday.

According to reports, Agba is to appear before a new Federal High court Judge, Justice Sule Shuaibu and expected to take a fresh plea on the four-count charge preferred against him.


Counsel to the accused, Daniel Kip said he hopes to move a motion for his bail on the same day. The accused has been incarcerated for 172 days for alleged acts of terrorism and cybercrime following an article he wrote in July 2019 seeking accountability for half a billion Naira alleged to have been diverted by the Cross River State government.

The former trial judge, Justice Simon Amobeda of the federal high court two who had recused himself from the case had denied granting the accused bail but ordered for a secret trial.


#Newsworthy…

Cross Rivers’ Gov behind Agba Jalingo’s ordeal – Lawyer


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.”


#Newsworthy….

Agba Jalingo’s case rested till Friday as he was no where to be found


Officers of the Nigerian Correctional Service has failed to produce detained journalist, Agba Jalingo, in court prompting the adjournment of the case.

Jalingo, who was charged with terrorism and cybercrime, was billed to appear before Justice Simon Amobeda, who presides over Court 2 of the Calabar division of the Federal High Court after 55 days of no activity on his matter.

A lawyer in his defense team, James Ibor, explained to journalists that it was due to an administrative issue as his production warrant was not signed.


He said, “The court had earlier notified us that they are ready to hear our application today and we were in court for to be heared but unfortunately, being a criminal trial, Agba Jalingo was not produced. So, the Court has made an order that the prisons should produce him on Friday and with that order, I am very optimistic that Agba Jalingo will be produced on Friday for the purpose of taking our application.”

Justice Amobeda had in December granted the prayers of the defendant for the provision of an electronic verbatim recorder before also recusing himself.


But Ibor said that having waited for so long and the provision of the EVR not forthcoming, the defense had to file a motion to vary the order of Justice Amobeda.

He added, “We have applied to the court to vary its order for verbatim electronic recording. The reason is because the process of procuring those equipment, I think, will take a lot of time. The court has ordered that the Federal Government to provide the verbatim electronic devices to its court to enable them record proceedings verbatim.


“But unfortunately, the process of procuring that or installing that may take a long time. I am not speaking for the Federal High Court but I am speculating that it is over a month since the order was made and it has not been provided and it may take quite a long time to do so knowing the way things work in this country.

“So, we don’t want to wait. We are confident that the court will give us justice and that is why we want to make use of the longhand, archaic, backward, handwritten recording for now, pending when the Federal Government will do the needful.”


Also, a twist in the case showed that the Cross River State Government may take over the case by the next court date.

When asked to explain whether that was possible and the reason for it, Ibor averred that, “It will be difficult to answer for the Attorney-General of the Federation taking over the matter or the Attorney-General of Cross River State taking over the matter.

“Constitutionally, it is their duty, it is their right to take over or discontinue any trial or prosecution anywhere in Nigeria. I am not in a better position to answer that.

“The matter will not be transferred to a state High Court. They are federal offenses and the matter will remain in the Federal High Court and we are very optimistic we will get justice.”


#Newsworthy…

Breaking: Gov Ayade seeks Agba Jalingo’s release ..


Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has said he thinks the embattled journalist (Agba Jalingo) should be released from the prison.

Speaking after a long silence on the matter, Governor Ayade said the journalist who is standing trial for treason and for allegedly criticising his government, acted out of youthful exuberance.


“I am of the opinion that Agba should be released because I think he was just youthfully excited.

“If you ask Agba Jalingo today, I am the one working with his lawyers for his freedom, I am the one sustaining him and sending upkeeps,” Ayade claimed.


The governor also denied being the one who ordered the journalist’s arrest, stating that the case is between Agba Jalingo and the Federal Government.

“In court, it is Federal Government versus Agba Jalingo, not Cross River State,” Mr Ayade told reporters on Monday at the presidential villa, Abuja, where he went to meet President Muhammadu Buhari.


“He’s in court for treason, a state does not have the power to try anyone for treason, it’s not me.”

Governor Ayade said the arrest and trial of Agba Jalingo are in connection with Omoyele Sowore’s #RevolutionNow protest, adding that the journalist left his core profession and began to meddle into politics.


“On his Facebook page, he sent pictures where he was being teargassed at the revolution march in Lagos. His own pictures, posted by himself and when Sowore was being arrested, he went back to his Facebook to post that the revolution has just started, ‘we will continue this battle until revolution works’. He admitted this in Court.

“You are seeing him as a journalist, but he’s not, he’s the chairman of Sowore’s party in Cross River State so he’s a politician. He has a primary calling, which is journalism.


“Once he started the campaign to overthrow the government of President Buhari, he ceased to be seen from the point of a journalist because he has become the state chairman of a party,” Governor Ayade stated.

The governor reiterated that he has been working for Mr. Jalingo’s release from Calabar prison where he has been incarcerated.

Until his arrest, Mr. Jalingo was the publisher of Cross RiverWatch.

He was apprehended was on August 22 allegedly over a report suggesting that Governor Ayade diverted N500 million belonging to the state, a claim which the government has strongly refuted.


#Newsworthy…