Again, Nigerian journalist, Agba Jalingo, has been sent to Kuje prison by Justice Zainab Bage Abubakar of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, March 27, 2023.
Ben Ayade: Nigerian Journalist Jalingo sent to Kuje prison over cybercrime
Nigerian journalist Agba Jalingo has been sent to Kuje prison by a Federal High Court in Abuja on charges of cyberstalking and defamation of Elizabeth Ayade, the wife of Frank Ayade, brother of the Cross River State Governor.
Jalingo's lawyers were allegedly denied the opportunity to move a motion for bail during the arraignment.
The journalist, known for his 'Cross River Watch' platform, has been critical of the Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade and his administration, leading to previous detention in 2019 on charges of "treason".
Jalingo was arrested on August 22, 2019, over a report alleging that Ayade diverted ₦500 million belonging to the state.
Jalingo was also accused of defaming Elizabeth Ayade, the wife of Frank Ayade, who is a brother of Cross River State Governor.
He was sent to Kuje prison until Thursday, March 30, 2023, according to reports.
More details soon
Back story on Agba Jaligo's arrest
A lawyer representing Elizabeth Ayade filed a complaint against journalist Agba Jalingo on July 6 for alleged defamation and cyberattacks. The complaint referred to an unspecified Facebook post by Jalingo and a report by CrossRiverWatch that accused Elizabeth Ayade of hiring a lecturer to impersonate her at the Nigerian Law School. The complaint demanded that the website retract the article, pay 500 million naira in damages, or face litigation.
Jalingo was accused of cyberstalking, which carries a sentence of up to three years and fines up to 7 million naira under Section 24 of Nigeria's Cybercrime Act.
The lawyer also stated that his client would bring a civil lawsuit against Jalingo. However, Jalingo claimed that he had not received any police invitations for questioning.
In August 2019, Jalingo was arrested and detained on charges of defamation and anti-state activities related to his writings and social media posts about Governor Ayade.
Authorities later added cybercrime charges, which were dropped after a regional court ordered Jalingo's release and compensation for his detention.
However, Jalingo has yet to receive the compensation owed to him. These incidents raise concerns about the state of press freedom in Nigeria.
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: