A non-governmental organisation, Citizens’ Solution Network, has called for the immediate and unconditional release of an activist and newspaper publisher, Agba Jalingo, and others arrested on Saturday during the June 12 protest in Calabar, Cross River State.
Mr Jalingo is the publisher of Cross River Watch, an online newspaper.
Cross River Watch’s news editor, Jonathan Ugbal, the paper’s lawyer, James Ibor, and one other person were arrested along with Mr Jalingo in front of the paper’s office where they were holding a peaceful protest.
Citizens’ Solution Network, in a statement issued on Saturday, said Mr Jalingo and others did not commit any crime, other than participating in a legitimate protest.
The group condemned the arrest and called on the police authorities in Cross River to release Mr Jalingo and others said to be detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department.
“Let it be on public registry that these needless arrests and unconstitutional detention breach the creed of protecting armless and harmless protestors, which officers of the Nigeria Police Force swore oath to defend.
“Now is the hour for Police to free these citizens, since they are fighting for the good of all Nigerians including a better welfare for our badly underpaid police personnel,” said the statement which was signed by the group’s Country Director, Richard Inoyo.
Mr Jalingo was first arrested on Friday over a petition that he was into gun running.
He had gone to the police headquarters in Calabar to honour an invitation from the Commissioner of Police in the State, Kayode Sikiru, when a copy of the petition was shown to him.
He was detained for hours and later released after he put down a response to the petition.
The police patrolled major roads in Calabar as early as 7 a.m. on Saturday, apparently to scare away people who may have wanted to join the nationwide protest.
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