Journalist, Agba Jalingo has finally left correctional centre custody having met the conditions on which a Federal High Court granted him bail last week.
Jalingo was arrested in August 2019 and spent 174 days (approximately five months) in detention.
He was charged with conspiracy, terrorism, treasonable felony and an attempt to topple the state government. The journalist was denied bail on two occasions by Simon Amobeda, a judge, who was caught in a leaked audio saying the journalist’s life was in the court’s hands. After the recording was made public, Jalingo asked the chief judge of the federal high court to reassign his case. Amobeda later recused himself from the matter following allegations of a lack of fair trial by the journalist.
The publisher of Cross River Watch was granted bail to the tune of N10 million by the Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State.
Agba Jalingo sings ALUTA CONTINUA after release from prison. Thank you everyone that spoke up on this. It can be anyone. pic.twitter.com/COSGFSIpMT— Comrade Deji Adeyanju (@adeyanjudeji) February 17, 2020
He was first arraigned in court on August 22, 2019, after publishing a story accusing Governor Ben Ayade of misappropriating N500 million earmarked for the state’s microfinance bank.
However, the state governor denied being behind the journalist’s ordeal.
Amnesty International had declared the activist “a prisoner of conscience” due to his lengthy incarceration.
Human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, who announced the news of Jalingo’s freedom, wrote: “Freed at last, welcome back my brother. History will vindicate the just. Agba Jalingo has been released after perfecting his bail conditions.”