Police free Agba Jalingo, to report back Monday

The Federal Capital Territory Police Command on Saturday night released CrossRiver Watch journalist and editor, Agba Jalingo.

The FCT Police Spokesperson, Josephine Adeh, told our correspondent that the command had earlier arrested the journalist, adding that investigation was ongoing.

Adeh said: “On Saturday, August 20, 2022, Agba Jalingo was arrested by state agents of the CID in response to a petition lodged against him by one Elizabeth Ayade.

“He was arrested on a false allegation that he paid a Mr. Pascal to give him an exam at the law school.

“On receiving this request, we went ahead to invite Mr. Jalingo, but he refused to come, leaving the police with no option but to get a warrant of arrest, which is why he was arrested in Lagos.

“The investigation is ongoing, and the facts disclosed will be communicated later.”

However, Jalingo, who spoke to our correspondent, on Saturday night, said the police asked him to report to the FCT Command on Monday.

Jalingo said: “I have been released. Kudos to Nigerians, colleagues and journalists who made efforts to ensure that I was not left on a frivolous plea.

“The police asked me to present myself at the FCT Police Command on Monday.”

Earlier, Jalingo’s lawyer, James Ibor, who spoke to our correspondent, noted that his family and friends were apprehensive, especially since the Abuja police had earlier denied receiving him.

Ibor said: “We have 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 was released from Lagos airport.

“This shouldn’t happen in a country that has laws. Why would you arrest a journalist without inviting him to a publication he made?

“Police in Abuja later confirmed that they have received him and we hope they will release him.”

background history

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

He was later arrested at Alapere Police Station, Lagos.

The activist’s wife, Violet Agba, confirmed this to our correspondent on Friday evening.

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

“He was taken to the police station, he will be transferred to Abuja tomorrow morning,” he told The PUNCH.

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

“We asked them for an arrest warrant or a charge sheet, but they did not present it to us. We were only told that she was invited for defamation of the character of Frank Ayade’s wife.” She added.

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