A judge at the Federal High Court, Calabar, Justice Simon Amobeda, who was presiding over journalist Agba Jalingo’s case, has travelled with the case file. This was subsequent to the judge had recused himself from the case following Jalingo’s appeal to the Chief Judge for the matter to be reassigned.
Jalingo relied on a leak audio where Justice Amobeda was trapped on tape saying the journalist would be treated like Ken Saro-Wiwa. Saro-Wiwa, a rights activist, who was sentenced to death by hanging in the year 1995.
As normal practice, Justice Amobeda was required to return the case file to the Chief Judge for reassignment following his withdrawal from the case but he did not.
Instead, he held the case file to himself one month after withdrawing.
It was gathered that this was used as a delay tactic to keep Jalingo in prison for a long time.
In a tweet on Sunday 12th January, 2020, pro-democracy campaigner and journalist, Omoyele Sowore, revealed that the judge held on to the case file, delaying the sitting under a new judge. Latest on Agba Jalingo: We’ve just received an update that the Federal High Court judge, Simon Akpah Amobeda who earlier recused himself from the case has “travelled” with Agba’s case file, making it not viable for the judge to which case was newly assigned to start sitting,” Sowore tweeted.
Jalingo continues to be remanded at the medium security custodial center in Calabar where he has spent about Hundred (100) days so far after staying 34 days in police custody before his arraignment on 25th September, 2019. The offence Jalingo committed was writing an article in July, 2019, demanding the whereabouts of the N500 Million approved and released by the Cross River State Government for the floating of the Cross River Microfinance bank.