BEVERLY HILLS, January 27, (THEWILL) – Journalist and activist, Agba Jalingo is still behind bars because he belongs to the “Revolution Now” group, which the federal government has accused of plotting to forcefully remove President Muhammadu Buhari from office, Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade told State House correspondents in Abuja on Monday after a meeting with the president.
Ayade also claimed that Jalingo is also a politician, alleging that he is the Cross River State Chairman of the African Action Congress, AAC, an affiliate of the Revolution Now group, co-founded by Omoleye Sowore.
Mr Jalingo, the publisher of Cross River Watch, who is facing treason charges, was arrested on August 22, 2019 over a report alleging that Mr Ayade diverted N500 million belonging to the state.
The governor said: “In court, it is Federal Government versus Agba Jalingo, not Cross River State. The same Agba Jalingo who is in jail, I send him money….
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“He’s in court for treason; a state does not have power to try anyone for treason, it’s 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’m the one working with his lawyers for his freedom; I’m the one sustaining him and sending upkeeps, the same man who once called me a golden brother, that I’ve stood with him through tough times.
“I am of the opinion that Agba should be released because I think he was just youthfully excited, 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.”