Court Discharges, Acquits Journalist Agba Jalingo In Cybercrime Case Filed By Ex-Governor Ayade’s In-Law

Justice Joyce Abdulmalik of an Abuja Federal High Court has ruled in favour of Citizen Agba Jalingo, publisher of CrossRiverWatch, dismissing the charges brought against him by Mrs. Elizabeth Alami Ayade.

Alami Ayade is the wife of Frank Ayade, the younger brother of a former Governor of Cross River State, Senator Ben Ayade.

Mrs. Ayade had filed a petition with the police, leading to Jalingo’s arrest and subsequent charges under the Cybercrimes Act.

The charges stemmed from a Facebook post regarding examination malpractice at the Abuja campus of the Nigerian Law School, which Mrs. Ayade claimed caused her “ill will” and “insult.”

However, the court has now discharged and acquitted Jalingo of all charges.

On May 8, 2024, SaharaReporters reported that the prosecution had closed its cyberstalking case against Agba Jalingo in the criminal suit filed by Alami Ayade.

According to a court document filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja on December 6, 2022, the police claimed a publication by the journalist against Elizabeth Alami Ayade was false and was released for the purpose of causing her annoyance, ill will, and insult.

Citizen Jalingo was later arraigned on charges bordering on false publication intended to cause, “annoyance, ill will and insult,” on the person of Mrs. Ayade.

He was accused of committing offences punishable by Section 24 (1)b of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc) Act 2015, Court documents in suit number FHC/ABJ/CR/565/2022 show.