Anger in Nigeria after police charged journalist with treason for accusing Cross River Governor Ben Ayade of corruption

1,011FollowersFollow

Anger is rising in Africa’s most populous country after a digital journalist was arrested by the police and charged with treason for accusing a state governor of corruption.

Agba Jalingo, the publisher of CrossRiverWatch, an online newspaper, was arrested in his residence in Lagos, Nigeria, by the Federal Special Anti Robbery Squad (FSARS) of the Nigerian police on August 22.

The next day on August 23, police transferred Jalingo to Calabar, the capital of Cross River State in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Jalingo’s transfer to Calabar was allegedly on the request of Ben Ayade, governor of Cross River State. Police on Monday charged him with treason, triggering anger and condemnation.

Read full reaction from the Center for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL.

The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL, has faulted Police arraignment of Mr. Agba Jalingo, a notable Human Rights Activist and Publisher of an online news website, CrossRiver Watch for criticizing the Governor of Cross River state, Professor Ben Ayade over corruption allegation bordering on misappropriation of over N500mn (Five Hundred Million Naira) belonging to the state coffers.

In a release issued on behalf of Mr. Debo Adeniran, Executive Chairman of CACOL, by Adegboyega Otunuga, its Coordinator for Media and Publications, he stated, “We have watched with keen interest, the arrest and final court arraignment of citizen Agba Jalingo, a Human Rights Advocate and Publisher the online news medium, CrossRiverWatch, through which he has been educating and informing the grassroots in his state. It is instructive to note that at the inception of Governor Ayade’s tenure in Cross Rivers state, Agba Jalingo used his online news outlet, Cross Rivers Watch to showcase his government’s policies and praise the administration where he felt necessary. However, things seem to have turned sour after he alleged some misapplications of state funds by the state government running into Hundredth of Millions of Naira through what he referred to as ‘elephant projects’ and funds unaccounted for. While we may not be privy to the extent the Publisher had gone through his ‘whistleblowing’ allegations against the governor as related to informing our anti-corruption agencies, i.e. ICPC (Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission) and EFCC (Economic Financial and other Crimes Commission) who have the duty and the wherewithal to investigate such allegations and take appropriate actions, now and later, we are convinced that Police arraignment of Agba Jalingo in court for Treason or acts bordering on terrorism, is ultra vires and far off the marks.

Just as it was noted by many legal practitioners who have responded on this matter, the Governor could not legally resort to ‘self-help’ by getting the Publisher arrested and arraigned for criminal offences over a purely civil matter that borders, at worst on defamation of character.

The best he could have sought was to sue the journalist for libel and consequently challenge him to prove his allegations in a court of law. The Nigerian Police erred by assisting a sitting Governor to undermine the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and publications of a Nigerian citizen. As earlier noted, though no right is absolute, such infringements that border on impingement or abridgement of others’ rights and reputation (if allegations are untrue and character is flawless in the eye of the law), is better challenged through a civil suit and not by the Police arbitrary arrest and arraignment.

The CACOL Boss added, “Under a democratic dispensation and even when Nigeria was in a military rule, such acts as arbitrary arrest and subsequent charge as this, were ultra vires and dictatorial. This is because; no country subsists as an Island unto itself but operates as a veritable member of global community. This is more so, as Nigeria is a signatory to many international Conventions and Treaties on Fundamental Rights and obligations of citizens, especially in a democracy. We therefore call on the Nigerian Police to withdraw such arbitrary charge against Agba Jalingo and set him free immediately, if it has no other criminal offence known to law against him to avoid a situation whereby Nigeria is seen to be sliding to a dictatorship.”

Today News Africa
Today News Africahttps://todaynewsafrica.com
TODAY NEWS AFRICA is registered and headquartered in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America. Our publication is widely read, respected and influential. By providing daily answers to questions our readers have about the people, the businesses and the continent of Africa, we are reaching a diverse and wide audience from around the world. Our readers, many of them world leaders, trust us because we are independent and truthful. Our advertisers understand the difference between news, views and ads. Contact us: contactus@todaynewsafrica.com

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Trending Now

U.S. calls for independent probe into massacres in Tigray region in Ethiopia

The United States government on Thursday called for an independent investigation following massacres in the Tigray region in Ethiopia.The United States said the investigation...

Biden announces foreign policy and national security team, including Blinken as Secretary of State, Mayorkas as Secretary of Homeland Security and Kerry as envoy on climate

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced key members of his foreign policy and national security team, including Antony Blinken as Secretary of State;...

Trump campaign files appeal after Judge called legal claim in Pennsylvania “Frankenstein’s Monster” before dismissing it

President Donald Trump’s legal team on Sunday filed an appeal to a federal judge’s ruling that dismissed his campaign's effort to block the certification...

President-elect Joe Biden’s national security and foreign policy team praised as experienced and historic choices

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announced key members of his national security and foreign policy team on Monday, including Antony Blinken as Secretary of State;...

Linda Thomas-Greenfield: “America is back. Multilateralism is back. Diplomacy is back.”

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who has been nominated by President-elect, Joseph R. Biden Jr., to serve as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, on...

Sex-bombing the continent: Africa’s most popular nude dancer, Zodwa Wabantu, deported from Zambia

Zodwa Wabantu, Africa's most popular nude dancer, has been deported from Zambia where she was due to perform.The government believed her lewd performance in...

Ethiopian forces set to take Tigrayan capital, as many fear mass civilian deaths

The Ethiopian military said late on Friday that government forces were set to take control of Mekelle, the regional capital of Tigray, even as...

Joe Biden will need to strengthen ties with Africa, says Navy SEAL admiral McRaven

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will need to "play the long game" by strengthening ties with the rest of the world, including the continent...

Pennsylvania Supreme Court allows state to complete certification of Biden win

The Supreme Court in Pennsylvania on Saturday allowed the state to complete the certification of its presidential vote won by President-elect Joseph R. Biden...

Biden announces additional COVID-19 advisory board members

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on Saturday announced new members of the Transition COVID-19 Advisory Board.The team of leading public health experts is helping...

Hundreds of thousands of civilians trapped as Ethiopian war planes bomb Mekelle, Tigray’s regional capital

Hundreds of thousands of civilians were trapped on Saturday in Mekelle, the capital of Ethiopia's northern Tigray region, which came under "heavy bombardment."Aid workers...

Trump wasted $3 million in Wisconsin recount only for Biden to gain 132 votes, President could have donated the money to food bank

President Donald Trump seems to have wasted $3 million for recounts in two counties in Wisconsin, with President-elect Joe Biden gaining more votes.The...

Ethiopian forces set to take Tigrayan capital, as many fear mass civilian deaths

The Ethiopian military said late on Friday that government forces were set to take control of Mekelle, the regional capital of Tigray, even as...

What African Union envoys discussed with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia over escalating conflict in Tigray

The African Union has released a communique detailing what its envoys discussed with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia over the raging conflict in...

Joe Biden will need to strengthen ties with Africa, says Navy SEAL admiral McRaven

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. will need to "play the long game" by strengthening ties with the rest of the world, including the continent of Africa, William Harry McRaven, a retired United States Navy four-star admiral, said on Sunday.Speaking on "ABC This Week", Admiral McRaven, who last served as the ninth commander of the United States Special Operations Command from August 8, 2011, to August 28, 2014, under President Barack...
error: Alert: Content is protected !!
Share
WhatsApp
Tweet
Pin
Share