ECOWAS Court Orders FG to pay Nigerian journalist N30m compensation

ECOWAS Court Orders FG to pay Nigerian journalist N30m compensation

  • ECOWAS court in Abuja has ordered the federal government to pay compensation to a journalist identified as Agba Jalingo
  • Jalingo was arrested and illegally detained for alleging that Cross River state governor, Ben Ayade diverted N500 million
  • The international court condemned the government for the acts that violated the journalist's international human rights

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Abuja - For the ill-treatment and torture meted out to Agba Jalingo while in detention in Cross River state, the federal government has been ordered to pay N30 million as compensation to the journalist.

Channels TV reports that this was the judgement of the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja on Friday, July 9.

Agba Jalingo
The ECOWAS court of justice has ordered the federal government to pay N30 million to Agba Jalingo as compensation. Photo credit: George Onmonya Daniel
Source: Facebook

The court in its judgment declared the journalist was arrested and chained to a deep freezer for about 34 days without being charged to court.

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It went further to note that based on the evidence provided Jalingo was illegally detained, brutalized, and dehumanized, Vanguard added.

While condemning the government's actions, the court explained the act violated Jalingo's human rights.

Femi Falana the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) counsel who filed the suit on Jalingo's welcomed the court ruling.

Falana in a statement said the judgment could not have come at a more opportune time than now.

Journalist released on bail after spending 174 days in custody

Recall that Jalingo met the bail granted to him on February 13, 2020, after spending 174 days in detention.

Jalingo, who works as the publisher of Cross River Watch, was said to have accessed the bail granted him on Monday, February 17, after fulfilling the conditions.

The journalist was arrested and detained on August 22, 2019, over a report written alleging that Governor Ben Ayade, diverted N500 million belonging to Cross River state.

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Governor Ayade says detained journalist tried to overthrow Buhari

Meanwhile, the governor of Cross River state said Jalingo was detained because he tried to overthrow the government of President Buhari.

Ayade on Monday, January 27, 2020dismissed the suggestion that he was behind the detention of the journalist, noting that the federal government was the one prosecuting Jalingo and not the Cross River state government.

The governor stated that Jalingo is more of a politician than a journalist. He said the accused is the chairman of Sowore’s party in Cross River state.


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