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June 12: Police arrest Agba Jalingo over petition

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Editor-in-chief of CrossRiverWatch, an online media platform, Agba Jalingo, has been reportedly arrested by the Cross River State Police Command on Friday, over an alleged fake petition which described him as a drug dealer.

According to a report, Jalingo was invited by the Cross River Commissioner of Police Kayode Sikiru for a meeting over a planned June 12 protest. He attended the meeting with CrossRiverWatch News Editor Johnathan Ugbal.

They were urged to ensure that the protest was peaceful as the command would not idly watch its degeneration into a riot.

After the meeting, Jalingo and Ugbal were ushered into the State Intelligence Bureau office by the officer in charge of intelligence Cajetan Onwusor, where they were profiled and their photographs and biometrics, captured.

After waiting for over an hour, an unnamed official of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (CIID) invited the duo and the officer in charge of the Human Rights Unit Simeon Nwaguru into his office.

He handed a two-page document to Nwaguru, who read it and passed it on to Jalingo. The document turned out to be a petition by people who described themselves as concerned Cross Riverians.

Efforts by The ICIR to contact the Cross Rivers State Police Command yielded no results as the Spokesperson of the Command Irene Ugbo did not respond to calls or text messages.

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Jalingo is presently facing trial for alleged acts of terrorism and attempts to overthrow the Cross River State government, over an article he wrote in 2019 concerning the disappearance of N500 million approved for the floating of the Cross River State Microfinance Bank.

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Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via vopara@icirnigeria.org

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