Just read the statement of a man (Prof. Ben Ayade), who said he has no hand in Agba Jalingo’s incarceration.
“I called my Chief Press Secretary and others and said that journalists will not understand that Agba Jalingo is the State Chairman of Sowore’s party, from the time he moved into politics, he became a politician.
“You are seeing him as a journalist, but he is not. He is the Chairman of Sowore’s party in Cross River State, so he is a politician. He has a primary calling, which is journalism. Please as Agba Jalingo (sic), that Cross River Watch, the first person to give him money to set up the office was myself. His official vehicle, it was me.
“I don’t have to list all of these, he knows that I have funded and supported him, but journalism stops where BLACKMAIL becomes part of your strategy.
“He is in court for treason, a State does not have power to try anyone for treason, it is not me. Agba Jalingo is not a journalist, he is the Chairman of a political party and so once he started the campaign to overthrow the government of President Buhari, he ceased to be seen from the point of journalist because he has become the State Chairman of a party.
“I have an intellectual background as a Professor. I will stand with journalists at all times and I will never prosecute somebody, but if you ask Agba Jalingo today, I am the one sustaining him and sending up keeps, the same man who once called me a golden brother, that I have stood with him through tough times.
” When he started publishing damaging articles against THE STATE, I called him as a brother. I said look, the former governor told me that you so much blackmailed him, that his wife was detained because she was involved in child trafficking.
“He had to resort to settling him monthly. When journalism gets to that level, it becomes very dangerous and I don’t want you people to support a course that is not fair.
“I am of the opinion that Agba Jalingo should be released because I think he was just youth fully excited(sic), BUT LET HIM NOT USE THE POWER OF THE PEN, LET HIM NOT USE JOURNALISM AND HIDE TO BLACKMAIL, CHASTISE, LAMPOON, DESTROY ANOTHER PERSON JUST FOR PERSONAL ECONOMIC BENEFIT”.
LIES LIKE THIS IF UNCHALLENGED MAY APPEAR TO BE THE TRUTH, ESPECIALLY IN A GULLIBLE COUNTRY LIKE OURS.
FEW POSERS FOR MR PROFESSOR GOVERNOR!
1. So the Federal offence of treasonable felony against President Buhari is being handled by the CP of Cross River State at the instructions of who in Cross River State?
2. Such federal offence against President Buhari who sits in Abuja is being handled in Cross River State by the Police Authority in Cross River upon what criminal jurisprudence? Going by your account Agba Jalingo was tear-gassed during #RevolutionNow at Cross River State or was it not in Lagos?
3. One of the charges both old and amended against Agba Jalingo is his alleged attempt to overthrow your government, please where was President Buhari mentioned in the old charge against Agba Jalingo? So to rope in the President, the police amended the charge to bring in the presidency that was never a charge in the old? Just hoping that the presidency will disown this reprehensible allegation that has no basis in fact and law.
4. You allege sustaining Agba Jalingo financially while he is detained, the members of the public including my humble self will like to know who you are giving the said money to, to Agba directly or to Jonathan of Cross River Watch who I know to be the one catering for Agba Jalingo while he is detained? If you have given any money as alleged, please could you make public the alleged amount you have spent so far for Agba Jalingo’s upkeep?
5. You alleged to be working with Agba Jalingo’s legal team to have him released from the illegal detention he has been subjected to. May I ask, which of the lawyers are you working with for this ‘altruistic gesture’ to have Agba released from detention?
6. When you advised that Agba Jalingo should be released because he may have exceeded his youthful exuberance accounting for his incarceration, does it mean that he is no longer liable for the attempt to overthrow President Buhari and your government as alleged by you?
7. Why were you advising Agba Jalingo not to blackmail, lampoon, destroy etc using his pen against your person for an offence you have reported to the police to mean treasonable offence(to overthrow your government?) Is blackmail, chastisement etc a treasonable offence in Nigeria?
8. So Agba Jalingo ceases to be a journalist the moment according to you he became the Chairman of Sowore’s party?
9. It is obvious from your anger and outburst while granting the interview that you are so upset that Agba Jalingo was asking you to account for the 500 million Naira your government purportedly spent on the establishment of a micro finance bank which has remained moribund as alleged? Does asking such salient question make Agba Jalingo less a journalist but an opposition that should go to prison for daring to ask question about governance in the State?
10. By the way, does someone who is alleged to be in opposition in Cross River State become a criminal by the fact that he is in opposition or a chairman of a different political party in the State?
11. Sir did you in that interview you granted to the State House Correspondents in Aso Villa address all the allegations Agba Jalingo made against you and your government which to you amounted to blackmail, destruction, chastisement etc? Were they addressed?
12. Sir you think because you have succeeded in putting away Agba Jalingo for now that he will die in prison and will never have a right of reply to all your outburst against him today; and you also think that you WILL REMAIN IN POWER FOR EVER without accounting for some of your excesses in government?
I urge you Your Excellency to remove the ‘hand of monkey’ from soup before it turns out to be the hand of a human being and ensure the release of Agba Jalingo forthwith from illegal detention, and tender an unreserved apology to him, his family and Cross Riverians whom you have offended by orchestrating this over hundred days of illegal detention of my friend and brother AGBA JALINGO, THE FEARLESS JOURNALIST EXTRA ORDINARY, PAN AFRICANIST AND A GREAT INTELLECTUAL GIANT OF OUR TIME.
NIGERIA AND CROSS RIVER NEEDS AGBA’S RELEASE FOR HE HAS MORE TO OFFER IN FREEDOM THAN IN NEEDLESS BONDAGE.