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Agba Jalingo, the publisher of CrossRiverWatch was arrested by the Nigeria Police and charged for terrorism, treasonable felony and attempt to topple the Cross River State Government. He spent 34 days in jail before his trial started.
Mr. Jalingo published an article titled “How Ayade Approved And Diverted N500 million for Cross River Microﬁnance Bank”.
He was arrested in Lagos by operatives of the Intelligence Response Team of the Nigeria Police.
He fell sick and was rushed to the Police Clinic but was returned to the facility where he was detained despite the doctor insisting he spends the night.
He returned to the clinic and was directed to rest in the hospital for observation. The Police refused and took him back into detention.
Justice Simon Amobeda of the Federal High Court, Calabar denied Mr Jalingo bail.
Police ﬁled a motion to amend charges and seek protection of witnesses.
The prosecution counsel ﬁled for an ammendment of charges & an order to protect its witnesses. The trial judge ordered the prison ofﬁcers never to bring Mr Jalingo into the court premises in chains.
The ofﬁcers cuffed Mr Jalingo and only removed the cuffs as soon as he stepped out of the van. The trial stalled on technical grounds as the prosecution & defense counsel could not agree on the processes ﬁled.
Court grants leave for prosecution to mask witnesses.
The trial judge refused to grant Mr Jalingo bail on account of his ill health. He said S.161(2)(C) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) relied on by the defence counsel will only avail if the accused has been in custody for 1 year. The case was adjourned until .
#RevolutionNow: Court Fixes August 10 For Ruling On No Case Submission In Trial Of Journalists
A Chief Magistrates Court sitting in Calabar and presided over by Mrs Rita Marshall has fixed August 10, 2020 to rule on the no case to answer submission filed by the defendants in case number MC/428C/19.
The defendants, Jonathan Ugbal and Jeremiah Archibong are the News Editor and Managing Editor of CrossRiverWatch, an online Newspaper based in Cross River state.
They were arrested on August 5, 2020 and after spending two nights in detention, three count charges bordering on conspiracy, unlawful assembly and conduct causing breach of public peace were preferred against them when they were arraigned on August 7, 2020.
Mr. Jonathan is said to have arrived the venue for the #RevolutionNow protest in the morning of August 5th on his way to work to report on it but was arrested by the Anti Cultism and Kidnapping Squad who claimed he had knowledge of the protest before hand and therefore was part of the planning.
Mr. Archibong and Nicholas Kalu, a correspondent for The Nation newspapers then visited the unit to inquire why he was arrested and were both detained. However, Mr. Kalu was released shortly before midnight.
And, after several adjournments, the arresting police officer, DSP Igini Chukwuma and the investigating police officer, Sergeant Aaron Adie testified before the court.
Chukwuma told the court that he was ordered to arrest anyone who approached the venue and having seen Jonathan, decided to “take him in.” He said he was later ordered to transfer him to the State Criminal Intelligence and Investigation Department which he did and has no knowledge of the investigations after that.
Sergeant Adie in his testimony, denied knowledge of the fact the duo were journalists and could not explain why only two out of the three were charged to court. Also, he said he neither knew the source of livelihood of the duo nor their addresses.
The counsel to the defendants, Kehole Enya proceeded to file a no case to answer submission which was adopted on Wednesday. He prayed the court to acquit and discharge the duo as the police had failed to prove their case.