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Agba Jalingo’s detention: ECOWAS Court to rule in suit against Nigeria

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The ECOWAS Court docket of Justice will on June 29, 2021 ship judgement in a swimsuit towards Nigeria and Cross River State, difficult the arrest and prosecution of a journalist, Agba Jalingo.

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The writer was charged below the Cybercrime, Terrorism and Prison Code Acts. At a digital court docket session, the court docket heard his oral testimony.

Led in proof by Kolawale Oluwadare, the counsel representing the applicant, Socio-Financial Rights and Accountability Challenge (SERAP), Jalingo recounted how safety officers broke into his home and picked him.

The arrest was after he wrote an article by which he alleged {that a} N500million expenditure by the Cross River authorities for the institution of a microfinance financial institution was diverted.

He instructed the court docket led by Honorable Justice Edward Amoako Asante that he was taken on a 26-hour journey and was not allowed to dismount from the car.

Jalingo was detained at a facility run by the anti-cult and anti-kidnapping police for 34 days earlier than his arraignment on August 31, 2019.

In swimsuit no: ECW/CCJ/APP/10/20, SERAP is suing the defendants for the usage of Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, and so on) Act 2015, Terrorism (Prevention Modification), 2013 and the Prison Code Act to unlawfully cost Jalingo earlier than the Federal Excessive Court docket, Calabar Judicial Division.

Mr. Jalingo was launched on bail after 179 days in detention. His offence attracts life imprisonment and dying penalty.

The applicant contends that the defendants and their brokers have constantly used the provisions of the Terrorism Act, Cybercrime Act and different repressive legal guidelines to harass, arbitrarily arrest, detain and prosecute journalists, activists and different Nigerians.

SERAP desires an order directing the defendants to drop all prices towards Jalingo and unconditionally set him free from jail. They need Nigeria and/or brokers to offer efficient treatments and reparation, together with satisfactory compensation.

The court docket had struck out the second defendant, Cross River State from the swimsuit, for not being a correct defendant earlier than the ECOWAS Court docket, and a signatory of the Revised Treaty of ECOWAS.

Nonetheless, the first defendant, Nigeria, a Member State of ECOWAS, via its counsel, Chijioke Amadi filed and adopted his preliminary objection arguing that Jalingo had been granted bail and is being prosecuted at a reliable court docket,

Additionally on the panel of the Court docket are Hon. Justices Dupe Atoki and Januaria Tavares Silva Moreira Costa.

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