Journalist Agba Jalingo Regains Freedom

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has acquitted Nigerian publisher Agba Jalingo of cybercrime charges. Jalingo, who runs CrossRiverWatch, was prosecuted over a 2022 Facebook post accusing Alami Ayade, the wife of a former governor’s brother, of cheating in a law exam. He was arrested in August 2022 and arraigned in 2023.

The court, led by Judge Joyce Abdulmalik, found Jalingo not guilty, stating the prosecution’s case was without merit.

Jalingo expressed relief, stating he had been persecuted rather than prosecuted. He said the case has been a significant strain on him, but he sees the judgment as a victory for Nigerian journalism.

Previously, Jalingo was detained in 2019 on charges including terrorism for accusing a governor of embezzlement. Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience, criticizing the government for misusing the justice system against him.

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