Agba Jalingo, the publisher of CrossRiverWatch, has stated that he already believed that he would be in jail until the end of Ben Ayade’s tenure as governor of Cross River.
Jalingo who is the publisher of CrossRiverWatch was arrested on August 22, 2019, over a report alleging that the Governor of Cross River, Ben Ayade, diverted N500 million belonging to the state.
He was later charged to court for alleged conspiracy, terrorism, treasonable felony and attempt to topple the government of Cross River, and was detained for 174 days until he was granted bail.
Reacting yesterday when he featured on a programme on TVC News, Jalingo said the governor vowed to lock him up after he confronted him on the N4.3 billion local government funds he allegedly used for his campaign.
He said he knew he was in trouble after the governor took offense to his question been if he wasn’t arrested until long after.
Christian Ita, the governor’s spokesman, is yet to react to the allegation.
While speaking during the programme, Jalingo tackled Gov. Ayade, saying he denied being behind his(Jalingo)’s trial and shifted the responsibility to the federal government.
“It is cowardice to arrest a man and then turn around and deny you did not arrest him. I thought that he is a very courageous man. He is a professor, and should be able to own up to his actions,” he said.
“He promised he was going to arrest and lock me up long before August 22 when I was arrested, when I raised the issue of the N4.3 billion he withdrew from the local government funds to fund his campaign.
“When I asked him that question privately, he got upset with me and that was where my problem with him started.
“To be frank, the governor is my brother, and I supported his administration for four years. But after four years, I knew the governor did not have any direction. First and foremost, beginning with his budget titles…I knew he was not serious.”
Jalingo said he would soon publish a book on his days in custody, stating that he had fun and learnt some lessons.
“It (my experience) was mixed feelings; at one side of the coin, it was not fun, at the other side, it was a huge lesson,” he said.
“I think I went on a six months course, and I came back with a lot of experience. And on the other side, I must say that the conditions in prison are very horrifying, they are less than humane, and at the right time, we will begin to serialise our experience.”
He assured that he has no fear of returning back to jail.
According to him, “my worst expectation was that I will be in jail for three years until Governor Ayade leaves office and I will be released. That was the worst I expected.
“I am actually not afraid of going back to jail. What I am afraid of is that at every point in time, Nigerians should be able to rise up to pay the price to defend this democracy.”