Court Grants Publisher N10M Bail After 175 Days in Detention

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Mr. Agba Jalingo, Publisher of Cross River Watch
Mr. Agba Jalingo, Publisher of Cross River Watch

After spending 175 days in detention, Mr. Agba Jalingo, publisher of the Cross River Watch, was on February 13, 2020, granted bail by Justice SuleShuaibu of the Federal High Court in Calabar, Cross River State, in the sum of N10 million with one surety in like sum.

The stringent bail conditions include an order that Agbamust did not travel outside the country without the consent of the court; that he deposits a refundable cash of N700,000 with the court registrar, who will pay it into an interest-yielding account with a commercial bank, his surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court with a verifiable address and must show means that he will be able to forfeit the bail bond if the journalist jumps bail. In addition, both Agba and his surety must each submit two passport photographs to the court, and while the journalist must depose to an oath that he will be available in court for trials.

Justice Shuaibutook over the matter after the former judge, Justice Simon Amobeda, recused himself twice and the Cross River State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, TankoAshang, took over the case.

The matter was adjourned to April 6, 7, and 8, 2020 for the prosecution to open and close its case while other motions may be treated before that day.

The publisher was arrested in Lagos on August 22, 2019, by a team of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police a. They took him to SARS office in Ikoyi, Lagos State and on August 23, they transferred him to a detention facility meant for detaining suspected cultists and kidnappers in Calabar, the Cross River State capital where he had been detained. The publisher is facing a four-count bordering on terrorism and treason.

He was released from prison custody after meeting his bail conditions according to information from an activist, Inibehe Effiong, who confirmed the development.