By CrossRiverWatch Admin
Nobel Laurette, Professor Woke Soyinka has described the ongoing treason trial of detained journalist, Agba Jalingo, as a very dishonest device to silence the people by a Government which has no more answers to give.
Award winning journalist, Agba Jalingo is facing a four count trial including treasonable felony and attempt to topple the Cross River State Government, at the Federal High Court in Calabar, South South Nigeria.
But in an interview with Naija Info FM in Lagos, the eighty year old Nobel winner decried the prevailing use of State power to intimidate and silence dissent by State actors.
According to Soyinka, it is one of the most absurd political arrangement that will make it possible for a non-sovereign Government, to claim there is an attempt to topple it.
“I must tell you that I was horrified to read of treason charges been levelled against a citizen for criticising a State Government. This was in the East. I’m speaking of Jalingo, whom I happen to, (I’m wondering, is it the same Agba Jalingo who worked with us in PRONACO? It must be the same person.)
“I wasn’t aware that it’s possible to commit treason against a State Government. And that obviously is an anomaly. It will be one of the most absurd political arrangement which made it possible for a non-sovereign Government, because the State government is not a sovereign Government; so how can you commit treason against a non-sovereign Government, to begin with? And for me, in any case, I look more at the word treason as a crime which is committed against the people not just a contraption, a contraption is there, it’s made out of the people, it represents the will of the people. So the expression treason for me is an anomaly. I cannot even grasp it. So obviously it’s a device, a very dishonest device to silence people when a Government has no more answers to give.”
For granting leave to prosecution to mask witnesses in a trial which the Court insist must be in secret, Soyinka said the State is rather guilty of treason.
“In that case the State should be accused of treason. It is the State in such circumstances which is for me, potentially guilty of treason because it’s a travesty of justice. And there is no State or no Government without a blimp of justice. Because, how can you be talking about a secret trial? Things are happening in this country which I am not aware. I mean this is news to me.”
He called on Government at all levels to respect citizens’ rights and the nation’s constitutional provisions to avoid an invitation to anarchy.
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