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About twenty-four hours after Naijaparry reported that the Federal High Court, sitting in Calabar, has granted bail to the detained Nigerian journalist, Agba Jalingo, the reporter has been released today from the Calabar prison after meeting bail terms.

It could be recalled that Agba Jalingo who is the publisher with
CrossRiverWatch was arrested on August 22, 2019, over a report alleging that the Governor of Cross River, Ben Ayade, diverted N500 million belonging to the state.

However, the Cross River State Governor, Benedict Bengioushuye Ayade, had earlier denied that he knows about the ordeal faced by the publisher.

Naijaparry understands that bail terms given by Justice Sule Shuaibu of the Federal High Court, Calabar, on Thursday for Agba Jalingo include, N10 million, a refundable deposit of N700,000 to court registry by sureties.

In another news, Naijaparry reported that members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State has taken to the street to lament bitterly on
Supreme Court verdict which sacked governor-elect, David Lyon.

A Federal High court in Calabar, Cross River State, presided over by Justice Sule Shuaibu has granted embattled journalist Agba Jalingo N10 million bail with one surety in like sum.

Justice Shuaibu sat over the case for the first time after taking over from Justice Simon Amobeda who rescuse himself from the case following condemnations that trailed refusals to grant the Journalist bail on three occasions.

In his ruling, the surety must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court and his address must be physically verified. Also, he must show means that he will be able to forfeit the bail bond, the Judge ruled.

Adding, “the surety is expected to deposit N700,000 cash with the registrar of the court who will then pay it into an interest yielding account with a commercial bank” while Jalingo must seek the permission of court to travel out of the country if he wants to travel.

“Agba Jalingo must deposed to an oath that he will be available in court while he and his surety must present two passport photographs.”

Justice Shuaibu ordered that the proceedings of the court on the matter shall not be a matter of public discourse and subsequently adjourned the matter to the 6th, 7th and 8th days of April 2020 for the prosecution to open and close its case while other motions may be treated before that day.

Counsel to Agba Jalingo, Attah Ochinke Esq, in his motion, brought pursuant to sections 35 and 36 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended as well as sections 158, 161, 162 and 165 of the administration of criminal justice act 2015 urged the court to admit the defendant to bail relying on “his state of health as the special circumstance upon which the court may exercise its discretion.”

Prosecution counsel, Tanko Ashang did not oppose the bail application from the defense.

Ashang who is the Attorney General of Cross River State said he was not opposing the bail application dated November 7, 2019 and filed on November 12, 2019.

He, however, asked the court to be guided by the provisions of Section 34 subsection 3(a) and subsection 5 of the terrorism prevention amendment act of 2013 which bars the discussion of court proceedings on trials relating to terrorism as well as prescribes a five year jail term on those found wanting.

The Cross River State government had last week taken over prosecution of the matter despite denying allegations that the Governor, Benedict Ayade was behind Jalingo’s ordeal.

The trial had drawn local and international attention with several individuals and organisations demanding his unconditional release.

An Iwo Road Magistrates’ Court in Ibadan on Friday denied bail to six secondary school students who were alleged to have raped a female colleague.

The students: Akeem Abee, 17, Olaiya Faruq, 16, Kazeem Awal, 16, Ajao Waris, 17, Alamu Boluwatife, 17, and Dauda Mubarak, 17, are facing trial for conspiracy and rape.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Chief Magistrate, Mr Taiwo Oladiran, said the magistrate court does not have jurisdiction to hear the case.

Oladiran said : ” We all have powers; the issue of their age range of between 16 and 17 years is very important.

”If we have a very good correctional centre for minors where they can be corrected, they would have been held there.

”Even though the defendants are minors, they are to be remanded at Agugu police station pending receipt of legal advice from the Oyo State Directorate of Public Prosecution,” he said.

The magistrate , thereafter, adjourned the matter till Dec 13 for mention.

Earlier, the defence counsel, Mrs Christy Gbadeyanka, had asked the court to take the pleas of the defendants and grant them bail, citing some precedents.

She argued that defendants were minors and keeping them with criminals would affect them negatively.

Gbadeyanka said the defendants had learnt their lesson while in the police custody.

She added that the defendants would not jump bail if released to reliable sureties, adding that the sureties would ensure they were available for their trial.

The defence counsel also submitted that the defendants were first time offenders and had no previous criminal records.

At the arraignment of the students, the Prosecutor, ASP Sunday Ogunremi, had alleged that the defendants on Nov. 17 at 6.00pm at Lagelu Grammar School, Ibadan, had unlawful carnal knowledge of one female student.

He said that the offences contravened Sections 516 and 485 of the Criminal Code Cap 38, Vol. II, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.

Philomina Chieshe, charged with alleged “missing” N35 million belonging to the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB ), was on Monday granted bail in the sum of N20 million by an FCT High Court Maitama.

Naijaparry reports that Chieshe, a clerical officer with JAMB, was arraigned last Friday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) alongside Samuel Sale Umoru, a state coordinator with JAMB.

Ruling in the bail application, Justice Peter Affen declared that bail was not about setting people free but to ensure that a defendant attends trial.

He added that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015 holds that bail be granted in the most liberal terms.

The defendant was also ordered to produce two sureties in like sum.

He ordered that the sureties must have landed property in Abuja worth the value of the bail sum.

Justice Affen further ordered the defendant’s counsel, Mark Feese, to put in writing the good characters of the sureties.

He further held that the court registrar, would then verify the addresses of the sureties, while the defendant must drop her international passport with the court.

Affen also ordered that pending when the defendant meets the bail conditions, she would be remanded at Suleja Prison.

Earlier, Feese prayed the court to admit his client to bail, arguing that contrary to the submissions of the prosecution, she was granted administrative bail by EFCC and did not jump bail.

Opposing the bail, EFCC counsel, Ekene Iheanacho, prayed the court to refuse the application, saying that she had jumped bail.