• News - South South - Cross River
  • Updated: February 21, 2020

Jalingo: I Am Not Afraid To Go Back To Jail

Jalingo: I Am Not Afraid To Go Back To Jail

Recently-released publisher of CrossRiverWatch, Agba Jalingo, speaks on his detention and the events that led to his arrest. He said that he thought he would remain in jail until the end of the tenure of the Governor of Cross River, Ben Ayade.

Jalingo said, while on a programme on TVC on Thursday, that Ayade had promised to throw him in jail after he had been asked about the N4.3 billion local government funds misappropriated, adding that he had a hunch that trouble loomed after the governor felt slighted by the question.

The journalist had been arrested on 22 August, 2019 after he published an exposé on the governor's diversion of funds allocated to the Cross River State Microfinance Bank.

He explained, “It is cowardice to arrest a man and then turn around and deny you did not arrest him. I thought that he is a very courageous man. He is a professor, and should be able to own up to his actions.

“He promised he was going to arrest and lock me up long before August 22 when I was arrested, when I raised the issue of the N4.3 billion he withdrew from the local government funds to fund his campaign.

“When I asked him that question privately, he got upset with me and that was where my problem with him started.

“To be frank, the governor is my brother, and I supported his administration for four years. But after four years, I knew the governor did not have any direction. First and foremost, beginning with his budget titles; I knew he was not serious.”

READ ALSO: Taraba Governor, Ishaku, Speaks On Relocating To Abuja

Writing a Book

Jalingo also disclosed that he would be writing a book based on his experience in police custody and his ordeal with the state government.

“It (my experience) was mixed feelings; at one side of the coin, it was not fun, at the other side, it was a huge lesson.

“I think I went on a six months course, and I came back with a lot of experience. And on the other side, I must say that the conditions in prison are very horrifying, they are less than humane, and at the right time, we will begin to serialise our experience.”

On what his expectations were, “My worst expectation was that I will be in jail for three years until Governor Ayade leaves office and I will be released. That was the worst I expected.

“I am actually not afraid of going back to jail. What I am afraid of is that at every point in time, Nigerians should be able to rise up to pay the price to defend this democracy.”

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