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General News of Sunday, 21 August 2022

Source: www.punchng.com

Police release Agba Jalingo on bail

Journalist Agba Jalingo Journalist Agba Jalingo

The Federal Capital Territory Police Command said on Saturday that the journalist and publisher of CrossRiver Watch, Agba Jalingo, who was arrested at his resident in Lagos State, had been released from detention at exactly 10:00pm.

The journalist was asked to report to the Command on Monday.

Earlier, the command had confirmed his (Agba Jalingo) receipt and detention and that investigation was ongoing.

Adeh said, “On Saturday, August 20, 2022, Agba Jalingo was arrested by State CID operatives in response to a petition filed against him by one Elizabeth Ayade.

“He was arrested over a false allegation, claiming that she paid one Mr Pascal to write an examination for her at the law school.

“Upon the receipt of this petition, we went ahead to invite Mr Jalingo, but he refused to come, leaving the police no option but to secure an arrest warrant, which was why he was arrested in Lagos.

“Investigation is currently ongoing, and the unraveled facts will be communicated subsequently.”

Jalingo’s legal counsel, James Ibor, who spoke to our correspondent, noted that his relatives and friends have been apprehensive, especially since the police in Abuja had earlier denied receipt of him.

Ibor said, “We’ve been apprehensive. His family and friends have been apprehensive since he was arrested, but we became more apprehensive when the police authorities in Abuja denied receiving him hours after he left the Airport in Lagos.

“This should not be happening in a country that has laws. Why would you arrest a journalist without inviting him over a publication he made?

“The police in Abuja later confirmed that they’ve received him, and we hope that they’ll release him.”

Jalingo had on Friday announced that his Lagos residence was under siege by policemen.

He was later reportedly detained at Alapere Police Station, Lagos.

She noted that the police had planned to transfer the activist to Abuja tomorrow morning.

“They took him to the police station, he will be moved to Abuja tomorrow morning,” she told The PUNCH.

She claimed that Jalingo was being arrested for alleged defamation of character of the wife of Frank Ayade, the brother of the Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade.

“We asked them for an arrest warrant or charge sheet, but they didn’t present it to us. They only told us that he’s been invited for defamation of character of Frank Ayade’s wife.” She added.

Meanwhile, an advocacy group, Rule of Law and Accountability Centre, has called for an immediate release of a Cross River State activist and journalist, Agba Jalingo, who was earlier arrested by policemen at his Lagos residence on Friday.

Jalingo was said to have been arrested and detained at Alapere Police Station, Lagos over an alleged defamation of character of the wife of Frank Ayade, the brother of the Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade.

RULAAC urged the Nigerian police to desist from being influenced by politicians, saying the arrest of the journalist and his family members was unlawful and would further tarnish the image of the security outfit.

It noted that such could be translated to a violation of fundamental rights which was contrary to the provision of the constitution.

RULAAC’s Executive Director, Okechukwu Nwanguma, made this call in a statement on Saturday where he explained that only the courts possessed the right to determine whether or not an act was defamatory.

The statement read, “Who knows the motive of those who besieged his office in Calabar since they didn’t appear to be police officers and took flight upon sighting security agents?

“RULAAC has spoken with sources close to Agba Jalingo who revealed that Agba Jalingo was never invited by the police before they besieged his house in such Gestapo fashion.

“Police should avoid portraying themselves as available for hire by politicians or other persons of influence to be used to settle scores. It is not helping the battered image of the police.”

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