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Police arrest Agba Jalingo over alleged defamation of character

Police arrest Agba Jalingo over alleged defamation of character
August 19
23:22 2022

Agba Jalingo, publisher of CrossRiverWatch, has been arrested by police at his residence in Lagos state.

Jalingo, in a series of Facebook posts on Friday, said his residence had been besieged by officers from Alapere police station.

The journalist alleged that the police officers held his wife and daughter hostage, adding that they were “sent from Abuja”.

“Policemen have surrounded my house. I don’t know who sent them. But my house has been surrounded by police,” he wrote.

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“I don’t know who sent the police but they have held my wife and my daughter hostage downstairs. I don’t feel safe.

“I don’t know who sent them. But my house has been surrounded by police. Policemen are still surrounding my house in Lagos. I still don’t know what brought them here. My wife and daughter are held hostage.

“I suspect they still came from Cross River but they are claiming they are from Alapere police station in Lagos.

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“I have information that the police were sent from Abuja and the command CP is aware. I don’t know what I have done again but I am afraid for my life.”

Jonathan Ugbal, editor of CrossRiver Watch, told TheCable that Jalingo was taken to Alapere police station and that the activist will be transferred to Abuja.

Ugbal said the arrest is connected with a petition of alleged defamation of character, which he said was filed by the wife of Frank Ayade, the brother of Ben Ayade, governor of Cross River state.

“I presumed it is about a petition from Frank Ayade, the brother to the Cross River state governor. He will be transferred to Abuja tomorrow,” he said.

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Benjamin Hundeyin, Lagos police spokesperson, also confirmed the arrest, saying the state command was aware.

“These were police officers from Abuja on a legitimate investigation. We are fully aware,” he wrote on Twitter.

In 2019, Jalingo was arrested and arraigned after he published a story on how the Cross River governor allegedly approved and diverted N500 million meant for the state’s microfinance bank.

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Jalingo was charged with conspiracy, terrorism, treasonable felony and an attempt to topple the state government.

After 174 days in detention, he was granted bail.

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This story is published in partnership with Report for the World, a global service program that supports local public interest journalism.

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