- Cross River-based journalist Agba Jalingo has been granted bail by a Federal High Court in Calabar
- Jalingo, the publisher of CrossRiverWatch has been detained for 174 days
- There are, however, concerns that the bail conditions are too strict for a journalist
The Federal High Court in Calabar presided over by Hon. Justice Shuaibu has admitted journalist Agba Jalingo, to bail with a bond of N10million with one surety in like sum.
Details of the bail bond included a cash deposit of N700,000 also to be deposited with the court registry.
Jalingo, a Cross River-based journalist and publisher of CrossRiverWatch has been detained for 174 days.
His arrest and detention had sparked outrage in Nigeria and the international community.
He was charged with treason after he did a report about an alleged diversion of N500 million by the Cross River state governor, Professor Ben Ayade.
There are, however, concerns that the bail conditions are too strict for a journalist.
The news is already spreading like wildfire on social media with many Nigerians celebrating the journalist's release.
Wale Ola wrote on Twitter: At last! Small win. I can't wait to hear Agba Jalingo has been discharged and acquitted of all charges.
SERAP Nigeria reacts: We welcome the release on bail today of journalist Agba Jalingo, who is facing trial for doing his job. He should never have been arrested in the first place.
The Nigerian authorities and Cross River state govt of gov Ben Ayade must immediately drop all the charges against him.
Olonitola Victor: N10million bail fee is too much for Agba Jalingo. So he will not be released to his family if he can't get the sum. How many Nigerian journalists can afford that amount, this is one of the reasons investigative journalism is hard to do in Nigeria.
Recall that the Civil Society Groups for Governance (CSGGG), on Wednesday, January 28, issued a 21-day ultimatum to Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state, to release Jalingo or risk heavy protest at Government House, Calabar.
The president of CSGGG, Comrade Ogakwu Dominic, at a press briefing in Abuja, warned that civil society organisations would embark on massive protest demanding Ayade’s resignation if the incarcerated journalist is not released.
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