Real reason journalist Agba Jalingo was arrested – Femi Falana

Femi Falana and Agba Jalingo

Femi Falana and Agba Jalingo

Mr Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria and human rights activist, has given more details on the arrest of
Agba Jalingo, The Publisher of CrossRiverwatch.

A team of police personnel sent from Abuja had arrested Agba on Friday.

They stormed the home of the journalist at Alapere, Ketu in Lagos state to pick him up.

Giving details on the issue today, Falana said the police arrested Agba after subjecting his wife and children to unwarranted harassment for hours.

The human rights activist noted that the police yanked Agba out and took him to the Area F Police Command, Ikeja, Lagos State where he was detained until this morning.

“I met him at the police station where he informed me that he committed no offence but that his newspaper, CrossRiverWatch had only asked why a lecturer who wrote examinations for a student in the Nigerian Law School, Abuja has been arraigned in court while the student is being treated like a sacred cow.

Related News

“The police officers corroborated his account and stated that the petitioner had alleged that Agba Jalingo had committed “defamation and infringement of his integrity”, which is not an offence under any provision of the Criminal Code. Based on the information at my disposal, I was compelled to demand his unconditional release since he has contravened any provision of the Criminal Code. But the police officers informed me that his detention was ordered by the Authorities in Abuja. Thus, at about 11 am this morning he was flown out of Lagos and he is currently being detained at the Criminal Investigation Department, Garki, Abuja.

“The ongoing harassment of Agba based on the allegation that he has defamed the wife of the brother of a serving Governor is the height of official impunity in a democratic society. Since defamation is not a criminal offence the action of the Police is a flagrant breach of section 8(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and section 32(2) of the Police Establishment Act 2020 which have banned the police from arresting any person in Nigeria for civil wrong or breach of contract. Therefore, the police Authorities should release Agba Jalingo unconditionally and advise the petitioner to sue for libel in a civil court.”

In 2019, Agba Jalingo was arrested following an allegation of treason by Ben Ayade.

Jalingo was first arrested by the Police in August 2019. He was subsequently arraigned for treason and attempting to overthrow the state government due to highly critical articles he published.

In March 2022, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu discharged and acquitted him of the accusations at a Federal High Court in Calabar.

Load more