Court remands journalist for ‘insulting’ Cross River State Governor’s in-law 

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, presided over by Justice Zainab Abubakar has remanded a journalist and publisher of an online medium, CrossRiverWatch, Agba Jalingo, at the Medium Security Custodial Center in Kuje, for allegedly publishing an article that was deemed ‘insulting’ to Mrs Elizabeth Ayade, The PUNCH reports.

Mrs Elizabeth Ayade is wife to the younger brother of the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, whose administration, Jalingo’s Cross River Watch has been critical of.

Present in court during Jalingo’s arraignment was the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress in the 2023 general elections, Mr Omoyele Sowore, and other activists and members of the Nigerian Civil Society.

The PUNCH reports that two charges bordering on alleged false publication intended to cause annoyance, ill will and insult to the person of Mrs Ayade, wife to Mr Frank Ayade, were preferred on Mr Jalingo in suit number FHC/ABJ/CR/565/2022.

He is alleged to have committed an offence punishable by Section 24 (1)b of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc) Act 2015.

Mr Jalingo who was arraigned on Monday, March 27, pleaded not guilty to both charges.

The prosecution counsel, Fidelis Ogbobe, sought an adjournment for trial which the defense counsel, Baba Isa, did not oppose but pleaded that the matter be stood down as the lead counsel, Marshal Abubakar, was on his way.

However, Ogbobe opposed Isa’s application, citing Section 354 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 which stipulates that when parties are called, the court shall proceed to hear the matter.

He argued that, “The excuse is a calculated attempt to postpone the arraignment,” and asked the court to not take the defence seriously.



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