The Cross River State Governor, Benedict Ayade, has denied claim he was behind the arrest and continued detention of journalist, Agba Jalingo.
Jalingo, publisher of Cross River Watch newspaper was picked up by police at his Lagos residence last year’s August and dragged to Cross River where he was detained for weeks without trial on the basis that his paper published a report in which it accused Gov. Ayade of fraud and diversion of public fund.
Upon backlash that trailed his detention, he was charged with treasonable felony, terrorism and attempt to topple the Cross River State government and arraigned.
Gov. Ayade who is believed to be puppeteer behind Jalingo’s ordeal, has exonerated himself while granting State House Correspondents interview at the villa after visiting President Muhammadu Buhari.
The governor went on to tell of alleged close rapport with the detainee in an attempt to clear his name.
He said, “The case is between Jalingo and the Federal Government. Jalingo is not just from Cross River State, he’s not just from Obudu where I also come from, but he is my brother.
“On his Facebook page, he sent pictures where he was being tear-gassed at the revolution march in Lagos. He posted his own pictures himself and when Sowore was being arrested, he also posted that the revolution has just started. We will continue this battle until revolution works. He admitted this in court.
“It is the Federal Government versus Agba Jalingo and not Cross River State. The same Agba Jalingo who is in jail, I send him money. I called my Chief Press Secretary and others and said journalists will not understand that Jalingo is the state Chairman of Sowore’s party, from the time he moved into politics, he became a politician.
“You see him as a journalist, but he’s not, he’s the chairman of Sowore’s party in Cross River State so he’s a politician. He has a primary calling, which is journalism. Please ask Agba Jalingo that when he set up the Cross River Watch, I was the first person that gave him money to set up his office and other things.”