Journalist Agba Jalingo granted bail

A federal high court in Calabar Thursday granted bail to the detained journalist Agba Jalingo.

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Justice Sule Shuaibu granted the bail after Cross Rivers State Government reverted to the initial; charges of terrorism and conspiracy to remove elected governor from office.

Jalingo was first arrested, August 22, 2019, in his Lagos residence and taken to Calabar where he has been detained at the cultural centre facility.

The journalist who is a strong critic of the Cross Rivers State Governor, Ben Ayade was charged with felony, terrorism and attempt to topple the Cross Rivers state government.

Several groups accused the state government of masterminding Jalingo’s arrest due to an article he published in July where he queried the whereabouts of the N500 million allegedly released for floating the Cross Rivers Microfinance Bank which the state government had continually denied.

He was first arraigned at the Federal High Court 2 in Calabar after 34 days in custody on September 25, 2019 for the pre-trial hearing of his bail application after reports of his ill health sparked outrage.

The then presiding judge justice Simon Amobeda, rejected his plea for bail in his ruling stating that he lacked substantial evidence on his failing health and was remanded in prison.

When jalingo was called upon to take a fresh plea Thursday on the amended charges filed on October 11 2019, which boarded three crimes on terrorism and one count on cyber crime, Justice Shuaibu discovered that a clean copy was not filed by the former prosecutor, Dennis Tarhemba.

Despite explanations given by the defence council, the judge said it was not a proper process filed before the court hence cannot stand on its own.

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