The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has called for the release of Agba Jalingo, a journalist, charged with treasonable felony among other allegations, from correctional centre custody.
The National Public Relations Officer of the association, Adeyemi Azeez, made the call in a statement in Abuja on Monday.
Jalingo, a publisher of CrossRiverWatch, was arrested on August 22 over a report of alleging that Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State diverted N500 million belonging to the state.
Azeez said turning deaf hears to the plight of the renowned activist and journalist was uncalled for, and therefore urged those involved to “do the needful” to secure his release.
“On Friday, October 4, the journalist and rights activist, Agba Jalingo, filed a bail application which was rejected by a Federal High Court.
“Although the court has autonomous powers on cases before it, this development has increased the widespread belief that there were some forces behind his travail.
“In fact, the mode of his arrest was shocking as his wife confirmed that the men who took her husband away from their residence in Lagos were not wearing police uniforms. Also, they did not show her the warrant of arrest,” he claimed.
He said it was later discovered that the journalist was arrested by operatives of the Intelligence Response Team of the Nigerian Police Force.
Azeez said Jalingo was moved to Calabar and arraigned before a Federal High Court on September 25.
He said the journalist was arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on acts of treason, treasonable felony, terrorism and attempt to topple the Cross River State Government.
Azeez said it was “inhuman” for the activist to be kept in correctional centre custody since September 25, as the ruling of the court was being awaited.
“The activist has been kept in custody for over 119 days even when his case is yet to be ruled upon by a competent court,” he said.
The students expressed concern that the continuous detention of the activist was undermining the nation’s hard earned democracy.