Sunday, 1 September 2019

Analyst condemns continued detention of incarcerated journalist in C/River

L-R: Princewill Odidi, Agba Jalingo and CP Austin Agbonlahor 
1 September 2019 

The continued detention of Agba Jalingo the publisher of CrossRiverWatch for over ten days by the Cross River Command of the Nigerian Police has invoked the ire and subsequent condemnation of social entrepreneur, development expert and public affairs analyst, Princewill Odidi NEGROIDHAVEN can say authoritatively. This is contained in a statement made available to our news desk today. 

Odidi who is based in Atlanta in the US State of Georgia premised his condemnation on human rights violation. He further stressed the fact that being a civil matter the litigation should rather be between a corporate entity and the government not between personalities. 

The public affairs analyst who described the charge of terrorism slammed against the publisher as a mockery of Nigeria's legal system suggested that the 9th State House of Assembly is supposed to have wadded into the matter constituting a public session. Odidi further who observed that every citizen has the right to freedom of speech stressed caution in the exercise of this right. 

His words, 'I think arresting and locking up Agba for almost 10 days now in a matter that is purely civil is a violation of his fundamental human rights.'

Speaking earlier he said 'I just read the charges from the prosecutors. I was rather surprised lawyers drafted this. Nigeria and Nigeria Police really needs help. The charges as drafted was more a mockery of the law and the legal system. At least they would have done something better...

'In matters like these the House of Assembly which is a representation of the people should call for a public session to inquire and ask state officials questions and set the records straight. First of all, that's why they were elected. Moreso, I think a public rebuttal from the government may have been better. If the government communicates better with the people, we will avert issues like these. 

'Now, Citizens have the right to ask questions in situations they need clarity, that's the whole essence of democracy and moreso citizens should seek clarity of facts before publishing that also is important. 
Letter of invitation to Agba Jalingo by the police 

'In my thinking I would assume the matter should have been between CrossRiverwatch vs the State and not Agba as an individual. Note, CrossRiverWatch is an independent registered legal person as a Corporation that can sue and be sued. I think arresting and locking up Agba for almost 10 days now in a matter that is purely civil is a violation of his fundamental human rights. 

'We should be mindful not to abuse power. The state has misfired here. This is purely a civil matter. I plan to consult and appeal to the relevant authorities in the State to withdraw the charges and close the case. Agba is one of us, a stakeholder in the Cross River project which the governor has been leading. Let us resolve this amicably. 

We further appeal to the relevant authorities to grant him bail so he attends to his health and his Children. I call on cross river state elders and statesmen, I know no one wants to step on toes, but to be candid you cannot pretend and continue to ignore the situation. Let us impress on the state to resolve this matter. Let history record my position on this matter. God bless Cross River State.'

Jalingo was abducted by men of the Nigerian Police at his Lagos residence on 22nd August 2019 for alleging a fraudulent use of N500, 000, 000 state fund by the Cross River State Government. 

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