The Coalition for Whistle-blower Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) condemns the remand of journalist Agba Jalingo in prison custody over an alleged false publication.
Mr Jalingo, the publisher of CrossRiverWatch, was charged under the Cybercrime Act 2015 of Nigeria for allegedly publishing an article that was deemed ‘insulting’ to Elizabeth Ayade, the sister-in-law of Cross River Governor, Ben Ayade.
Mr Jalingo’s arrest is a blatant attack on press freedom and a clear violation of the fundamental human right to freedom of expression. The CWPPF believes that journalists should be free to report on issues of public interest without fear of reprisal or intimidation. The remand of Agba Jalingo in prison custody is a dangerous precedent that sets a chilling effect on freedom of expression in Nigeria and raises serious concerns about the government’s commitment to it.
The Cybercrime Act, which criminalises the use of the internet for various purposes including fraud, child pornography and cyberstalking, has been misused to silence journalists and dissenting voices, this constitutes a threat to press freedom.
The CWPPF calls for a review of the Cybercrime Act, as it has become a tool for the suppression of free speech and press freedom.
It is essential to note that the arrest of Agba Jalingo is not an isolated incident. Nigeria has a long history of harassing and arresting journalists who report on government corruption, human rights abuses, and other issues of public interest. The CWPPF condemns these actions and calls for the immediate release of Agba Jalingo.
The CWPPF calls on the Nigerian government to respect press freedom and take measures to ensure that journalists are free to report on issues of public interest without fear of intimidation or harassment.
READ ALSO: UPDATED: Police arrest journalist Agba Jalingo
We urge the Nigerian government to respect the rights of journalists and to ensure that the Cybercrime Act is not used to suppress freedom of expression. Journalists must be able to carry out their work without fear of arrest, harassment or intimidation.
The CWPPF is a group of media and civil society organizations committed to upholding democracy and good governance by protecting the ethos of whistleblowing, freedom of expression and press freedom.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.Donate
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999