By CrossRiverWatch Admin
A Nigerian Cannot Be Charged With Criminal Offence For Criticising A Governor
A Nigerian cannot be charged with any criminal offence for criticising a Governor or any other public officer in Nigeria. In Nwankwo v State (1985) NCLR 247, the Court of Appeal held that any public officer who feels defamed by any publication should sue for libel as it is illegal to use the machinery of the State to harrass political opponents in Nigeria. In fact, the court advised is Nigerians to resist any official move to wipe out the freedom of expression fought for and won from the colonial regime.
But in utter disregard of the judgment of the Court of Appeal in the Nwankwo’s case the Nigeria Police Force has just charged Mr. Agba Jalingo with terrorism for criticising Governor Ayade of Cross River State.
Since the charge constitutes a gross abuse of judicial process we call on the Inspector-General of Police to discontinue or withdraw it without any delay. If Governor Ayade feels offended by any statement made by Mr. Jalingo he is advised to sue for libel in the High Court of Cross River State.
Femi Falana SAN,
Peoples’ Alternative Front
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