Why government should not be praised over Agba Jalingo
The Federal Government cannot be exonerated from the arrest, detention and trial of Agba Jalingo. The reasons as thus:
First, the charges against Jalingo (treason, terrorism) are essentially federal offences (based on an Act of the National Assembly).
He was not charged under the Criminal Code Law of Cross River State but under the Criminal Code Act Cap. C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and under the Terrorism (Prevention Amendment) Act 2013.
Second, he is being tried in the Federal High Court, not Cross River State High Court.
Third, the charge was filed in the name of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; not in the name of the Cross River State of Nigeria. No State in Nigeria can institute a criminal charge against any person in the name of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Fourth, the Attorney General of Cross River State cannot enter a nolle prosequi (cannot discontinue the case). Only the Attorney General of the Federation can do so.
Fifth, governor Ben Ayade is only the ‘nominal complainant’. The Federal Republic of Nigeria is the main complainant.
A lawyer Joseph Odok, is also standing trial on similar charges like Jalingo at the Federal High Court in Calabar instigated by governor Ben Ayade. The police prosecutor in Odok’s case applied to withdraw the charge but the judge ruled that only the Attorney General of the Federation can do so. Mr. Malami SAN has not done so.
Unlike the case of one Michael Itok who is being prosecuted in Akwa Ibom for “annoying” governor Udom Emmanuel under a state law, in a state court and by the state Attorney General; Jalingo is being prosecuted under a federal law, by a federal agency in a Federal High Court.
Therefore, those who are saying that Buhari and the Federal Government have no role in the persecution of Jalingo should dispute what I have stated above.
This regime has emboldened people in power to violate the rights of Nigerians. Nigerians should call out the AGF and the IGP.
Ayade has no control over the Police (by control I mean constitutional authority) with respect to offences under a federal law. But we know that he instigated the case.
If Mr. Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation, wants to end the case, he can do so today.
I’m not excusing the foolishness and tyranny of Ben Ayade. I just want the public to know that Agba Jalingo is in detention because a federal agency decided to do the bidding of a state governor.
The flagrant disregard for human rights by the Buhari’s regime made this possible.
The pervasive culture of impunity, oppression and disregard for human rights is being perpetuated by members of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the ‘opposition’ Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Both parties are united in their evil machinations against the people of Nigeria.
We should not be deceived by their self-serving quarrels.
Barr. Inibehe Effiong