Agba Jalingo was accused of defaming Elizabeth Ayade, the wife of Frank Ayade, who is a brother of Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade.

High Court Remand Agba Jalingo In Prison For Cybercrime

A Federal High Court, in Abuja, has denied journalist Agba Jalingo the chance to apply for bail in a defamatory trial filed against him by the Federal Capital Territory Police Command.

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It was gathered that the journalist was denied the chance to exercise his constitutional right to request bail during the continuation of the trial in a ruling delivered by Justice Zainab Bage Abubakar on Monday morning.

He is facing two charges bordering on alleged false publication intended to cause annoyance, ill will and insult to the person of Mrs Ayade, wife to Mr Frank Ayade.
These charges were brought in an lawsuit preferred on Mr Jalingo, with the number FHC/ABJ/CR/565/2022.
He is alleged to have committed an offence punishable by Section 24 (1)b of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc) Act 2015.
Mr Jalingo who was arraigned on Monday, March 27, pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Court Document Filed

According to a court document and filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja on December 6, 2022, the police claimed the publication by the journalist against Elizabeth was false and was released for the purpose of causing her annoyance, ill will, and insult.

The charge sheet read: “That you Agba Jalingo male of No.14 Oremeji Street, Ojudu Alapere Lagos on 30th June, 2022 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did intentionally publish online at Cross River Watch and alleged that one Mrs Elizabeth Ayade procured the services of one Pascal Aboh to write Nigeria Law School Examination Bar Examination for her, information you know to be false for the purpose of causing her annoyance, ill will and insult. You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 24(1) b of CYBERCRIMES (PROTECTION, PREVENTION ETC) ACT, 2015.

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“That you Agba Jalingo male of No.14 Oremeji Street, Ojudu Alapere Lagos on 30th June, 2022 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did intentionally published on your Facebook page known as Agba Jalingo that one Mrs Elizabeth Ayade procured the services of one Pascal Aboh to write Nigeria Law School Examination Bar Examination for her, information you know to be false for the purpose of causing her annoyance, ill will and insult.

“You thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 24(1) b of CYBERCRIMES (PROTECTION, PREVENTION ETC) ACT, 2015.”

Background Of The Case

Mrs. Elizabeth Ayade, who appeared in court on Monday, wrote to Mr. Jalingo in July 2022 through her attorney, Uyi Obayagbona, asking him to retract a story in which it was questioned why Paschal Aboh, a suspended employee of the University of Calabar, was on trial for allegedly impersonating Mrs. Ayade while Mrs. Ayade, the person who allegedly hired him, was allowed to walk free.

Mrs. Ayade had sought that an apology be made public in two major newspapers, as well as the payment of 500 million Naira in damages and websites like Facebook, Instagram, and “Cross River Watch” (not CrossRiverWatch).

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Jalingo was given a 14-day deadline to comply; if he does not, legal action would be taken against him.

However, on August 19, 2022, after holding his wife and daughter hostage for several hours, police officers from the FCT Command invaded Jalingo’s Ogudu home in Lagos State and apprehended him.

He was then held at Area F Command in Ikeja and the Alapere Police Station before being flown to Abuja the following day, where it was discovered that Mrs. Ayade had filed a complaint with the police and accused Jalingo of allegedly defaming her character.

After being freed in the evening, Jalingo was instructed to return two days later, on August 22, but the police later directed him to go back to Lagos since Mrs. Ayade had not appeared at the FCT Police Command.

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