• News - South South - Cross River
  • Updated: December 12, 2019

Agba Jalingo's Request For Judge Replacement Granted

Agba Jalingo's Request For Judge Replacement Granted


Simon Amobeda, the presiding judge over the case of the Publisher, CrossRiverWatch newspaper, Agba Jalingo, has recused himself.   

As reported yesterday regarding Agba Jalingo's request for a change of judge, Amobeda recused himself from the case following the leaked audio, where the judge was heard implying that the life of the journalist rested in the hands of the court.

Mr Jalingo is a journalist who is standing trial over his "attempt to topple the government of Cross River,” and he, prior to the judge's recusal, had accused the judge of making statements that implied that his case was a matter of favour and not law and justice.

The judge also accused Jalingo's counsel, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, of pride, adding that he would not let the Senior Advocate intimidate him.

After the leaked audio got to the hearing of Mr Jalingo, he feared that his case would not get a fair hearing, and that spurred him to write a letter addressed to the chief judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, John Tsoho. In the letter, he said: 

“As Justice Simon Amobeda also reportedly stated in the secret audio recording, the charge on which he is to try me ‘is a criminal matter that the punishment carries the death penalty.’ The charge I am to face trial on is based on some trumped-up allegations by Governor Benedict Ayade of Cross River State, and I am eager to meet it head-on-head and defend myself and establish my innocence before the court of law and justice,” he wrote in the letter.

“However, I see no chance of fair trial for me in my case when the judge before whom the case (and my fate) lies is one whose understanding of justice, and the dispensation of it is depicted in the above statements and comments, among many others alike made by Justice Amobeda in the secret audio recording.”

Following the leaked audio and Jalingo's letter, on Wednesday when Mr Agba's case was to be heard, Simon Amobeda referred the case to the administration judge of the division, Sule Shuaibu, saying that it was necessary and proper that he stepped aside seeing as the media had given Mr Jalingo's case an amplitude of attention.

In an affidavit presented by Mr Jalingo, Simon said that the supporting motion was "false, unfounded, and misguided."

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