The International Press Centre (IPC), Lagos-Nigeria, has called for the immediate release of journalist Agba Jalingo, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher of CrossRiver Watch, who was arrested after the Police subjected his wife and children to unwarranted harassment for hours at his residence in Ketu Lagos, on Friday, August 19, 2022.
Reports reaching the IPC Safety Desk state that “a team of police personnel dispatched from Abuja stormed the home of Agba Jalingo at Alapere, Ketu in Lagos to arrest him.
“He was yanked out and taken to the Area F Police Command, Ikeja, Lagos, where he was detained until Saturday morning. He is detained at the Criminal Investigation Department, Garki, Abuja.”
It is alleged that Jalingo committed “defamation and infringement of integrity”, which according to an informed legal opinion, does not constitute an offence under any provision of the Nigerian Criminal Code.
In a statement, Lanre Arogundade, IPC Executive Director, condemned the arrest, noting that detaining a reporter for doing his/her job amounts to nothing but an abuse of power and a gross violation of fundamental human rights.
He also condemned that this is not the first time Jalingo has been detained, as this was the case in 2019 when a similar arrest led to his detention for over 140 days over spurious terrorism charges.
IPC, therefore, called for his immediate release while in the alternative, he should be charged to court soonest to enable him to enforce his fundamental right to freedom.