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Embattled Journalist, Agba Jalingo Granted Bail




Embattled Journalist, Agba Jalingo Granted Bail

The Federal High Court in Abuja has granted bail to a journalist and publisher of an online news outlet, CrossRiverWatch, Agba Jalingo.

Naija News recalls that Jalingo was remanded in prison custody on Monday over a case alleging he defamed Elizabeth Ayade, the wife of Frank Ayade, a sibling to Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade.

The journalist was arrested in August 2022 after police operatives laid siege to his Lagos residence over the said defamation of the elite.

The case file marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/565/2022, nailed Jalingo on alleged cybercrime, accused of publishing an article that disparaged Mrs Ayade’s personality.

However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge against him, which is punishable under Section 24 (1) (b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc) Act 2015.

At the resumed proceedings in the matter today, the defendant, through his team of lawyers led by Femi Falana, SAN, applied to be released on bail pending the determination of the case against him.

Police lawyer, Fidelis Ogbobe, however, did not oppose the application, Naija News understands.

The trial Justice, Zainab Abubakar, granted Jalingo’s request for bail to the tune of N500,000, with one surety in like sum.

Consequently, aside from the N500,000 bail bond, trial Justice Abubakar held that the surety must be an owner of a landed property within the Federal Capital Territory.

The judge ordered that the title deed of the said property must be deposited with the Deputy Registrar in charge of litigations of the Courts.

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Abubakar also held that the surety must also depose to an affidavit of means. While adjourning the case till May 31 for trial, the trial Judge held that the defendant should remain in prison custody, pending the perfection of his bail conditions.