Jailed Nigerian journalist Agba Jalingo to face cybercrime charge in court
CrossRiverWatch journalist Agba Jalingo (right) is seen in a federal high court in Calabar, Nigeria. The court recently granted anonymity to witnesses expected to testify against Jalingo. (Oto-Obongo Clement/CrossRiverWatch)
“The ongoing, opaque prosecution of Agba Jalingo for his journalism remains a grave display of the threats journalists face working in Nigeria,” said Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator. “Nigerian authorities should drop the charges against Jalingo, stop using cybercrime and anti-terrorism legislation to silence the press, and reform these laws to ensure they cannot be used against journalists.”
Jalingo has been jailed since August 22, 2019, when he was arrested and initially charged with disturbance of public peace and treason, as CPJ documented at the time. In October 2019, he was denied bail and a federal high court in Calabar blocked public access to the courtroom and granted anonymity to individuals expected to present evidence against him, a move his lawyer said would limit the defense’s ability to challenge false testimony, CPJ reported at the time. Jalingo currently has another bail application pending, Ochinke said.