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Police Apologize To Detained Agba Jalingo As Ayade’s In-Law Fails To Defend Criminal Defamation Petition



Mrs. Elizabeth Alami Ayade, the sister-in-law of Cross River State Governor, Senator Ben Ayade on Monday, failed to show up at the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, command of the Nigeria Police Force to defend her criminal defamation petition against CrossRiverWatch publisher, Citizen Agba Jalingo.

Mr. Jalingo was arrested on Friday at his Lagos residence and flown to Abuja on Saturday, where he was hidden from lawyers and activists by the Police for about five hours before his eventual release on administrative bail with the proviso of returning on Monday to answer to the petition.

And, the Presidential Candidate of the Africa Action Congress, Mr. Omoyele Sowore who accompanied Mr. Jalingo to the police command, told journalists when they came out that Mrs. Ayade did not show up with her representatives saying she was traumatized.

“He (Jalingo) was asked to return this morning with the proviso that the lady in question should appear. But, when we got here, we were surprised, they said she has trauma. They said that she is supposed to write her own statement, since she is the complainant. But, she couldn’t show up,” Sowore said.

He said Mr. Jalingo will not return there anytime soon. “I told the police that since Agba Jalingo is part of our campaign, they should wait till March 2023 before they continue the case. Anyway, there is no case here,” adding that the police “stylishly apologized for the way they treated him.”

Mr. Jalingo’s lawyer, Marshall Abubakar Esq, told newsmen that there was no case there. He further disclosed that they advised the police and people in power to stop using scarce resources and state power as tools for vendetta, since the law provided avenues for recourse.

“If she feels aggrieved by the publication of any media house, she has a remedy in law, and her remedy lies in the tort of defamation. There is no basis whatsoever for using obnoxious, anachronistic, and outdated laws that have been set aside by courts of the land to start hounding journalists who are simply carrying out duties as persons who hold the duty to inform the society about happenings.

“We have advised them and I think they have taken that advice to heart that the police have no business and have no right harassing citizens and journalists for carrying out their constitutional responsibilities and duties,” Abubakar said.

Meanwhile, Mr. Jalingo has said that he is stranded in Abuja, the FCT and disclosed that he informed the police of the need to facilitate his trip back to Lagos.

“I also did not forget to request that they pay my flight ticket back to Lagos because I am not going to enter gongoro (truck). I am stranded in Abuja. They gave me a free flight to Abuja. I did not send myself here, and cannot enter gongoro back. I need money to go back,” he told journalists.


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