Nigeria: Agba Jalingo Granted Bail After 175 Days

(file photo).
14 February 2020

A Federal High Court sitting in Calabar and presided over by Justice Sule Shuaibu has admitted journalist and rights activist, Agba Jalingo to bail.

This is the third time he would be admitted to bail and came after Justice Simon Amobeda had denied him bail on October 4th and 30th, last year.

Jalingo has spent 175 days after his arrest on August 22, 2019.

This was a few days to a rescheduled police interview which was at the instance of a petition bordering on an article he wrote in July asking the Cross River State government to account for the sum of N500 million approved and released for the floating of the Cross River Microfinance Bank.

After pleading not guilty to the four charges preferred against him bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony, cultism and attempts to topple the Cross River State government, Jalingo's counsel, Attah Ochinke, a former Attorney General in the State, moved the motion for bail with the prosecution counsel, Tanko Ashang refusing to oppose it.

In his ruling, Justice Shuaibu set the bail bond at N10 million with one surety in like sum.

He said that the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and his address must be physically verified. He must also show means that he will be able to forfeit the bail bond, the Judge ruled.

Also, the surety is expected to deposit N700,000 cash with the registrar of the court who will then pay it into an interest yielding account with a commercial bank while Jalingo must seek the permission of the Court to travel out of the country anytime he wants to travel.

Furthermore, Jalingo must depose to an oath that he will be available in court while he and his surety must present two passport photographs.

Justice Shuaibu subsequently adjourned the matter to the 6th, 7th and 8th days of April 2020 for the prosecution to open and close its case while other motions may be treated before that day.

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