15.02.2021 Justice Cross River Microfinance Still Can’t Produce a Single Witness Against Agba Jalingo after 18 Months!

Published 15th Feb, 2021

By Ibrahim Adeyemi

A Federal High Court in Cross River State has adjourned a libel suit filed by the Cross River Microfinance Bank against Agba Jalingo, publisher of CrossRiverWatch, a state-based online newspaper. 

Justice Maurice Eneji, the presiding judge, adjourned the case till March 21 after the sole witness to the Microfinance Bank failed to turn up in court.

In suit number HC/296/2019, R.A Manga Esq, the counsel to the claimant told the Court that his witness was “very sick,” and that he had conveyed the information to James Ibor Esq, counsel to the defendants.

“My Lord, you know these days when we are told people are sick, we have to be careful because the next time, you may hear that the person has died and it will prick your conscience that you did not act humanely,” Ibor told the court.

Responding, Ibor said on behalf of the defendants that the defence would “indulge the claimants again” due to the peculiarities of the times.

This is the second time the claimant’s sole witness is absent at the hearing of the suit.

In 2019, Jalingo had published an article via CrossRiverWatch, probing an illicit transaction of N500 million involving the Cross River Microfinance Bank and Benedict Ayade, the governor of Cross River State.

Following the publication, the Cross River Microfinance Bank filed a libel suit against him at the High Court of Cross River State, dated August 28, 2019.

He was then arrested on August 22, 2019 at his Lagos residence. He spent 179 days in detention after criminal proceedings over the article were preferred against him, with the Microfinance Bank, Governor Ben Ayade and the Cross River State Government as nominal complainants. The criminal trial is slated for prosecution to present their witnesses on March 1, 2021.

However, while in police detention before his arraignment before Justice Simon Amobeda of the Calabar Division of the Federal High Court, where the criminal proceedings were instituted, the Cross River Microfinance Bank went ahead to file a libel suit at the High Court of Cross River State.

The matter was first called on February 5, 2020, the court failing to sit. The matter was then adjourned to February 20, 2020 but the court still failed to hear the matter.

However, a hearing notice was issued for November 3, 2020 and upon resumption of hearing, the matter was adjourned until November 26 for pre-trial.

After the pre trial on November 26, 2020, the matter was adjourned until January 14, 2021 for hearing but upon resumption, the claimants sole witness was absent and the matter adjourned until Monday. By implication, 18 months after the suit was filed, Cross River Microfinance Bank has not managed to produce a single witness against Jalingo before th court.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Published 15th Feb, 2021

By Ibrahim Adeyemi


Our Stories

Farmer-herder crisis

Monarchs Can’t Tackle Farmer-Herder Crisis Because We’re Just ‘Toothless Dogs’, Says Iwo Paramount King

The Eventual Victims of #ENDSARS Were Not the Intended Targets, Says Keyamo

Lagos LG Chairman’s Boys Attack Apapa Neighbourhood After Facilitating Escape of Killer Truck Driver

‘A Hardened Scammer’ — More Victims of Ireti Doyle’s Daughter’s Hair Scam Speak Out After FIJ’s Story

How Ekiti SARS Officials Paraded a ‘Farmer’ as an Armed Robber — Then Asked Him for N500,00

BURIED JUSTICE (III): SARS Officials Tortured Femi Bello to Death Then Denied it — But An Autopsy Exposed the Truth

A Belgian Hospital Cut off Ajima Ogbole’s Cervix. Then They Paralysed Her Sister-In-Law Susan

How Dangote Refinery Ruined the Economy of the Ancient Town of Lekki

Osun Received N1.5bn in Pandemic Donations but Turned its Back on People with Disabilities

‘I Don’t Know’ — LCC MD Omomuwasan Looks The Other Way When Asked for Monthly Revenue from Lekki Toll Gate