There is a traditional Bette dialect adage in Obudu about our masquerades. “Ukwom unghio-ligie” is literally translated as the parting dance steps of the masquerade. The watchers usually discern that moment from what the talking drums are saying. That exactly is the melodrama oozing from the Ayade’s insidious orchestra.
- You claim I defamed you. Instead of you suing me for defamation, you went and procured the services of the Police to charge me for cybercrime. Because you are bent on seeing me humiliated by the Police and remanded in prison custody.
- You now went to another Abuja Federal High Court to now sue me for N500 million for defamation. So why didn’t you just sue for defamation in the first place?
- I will be arraigned on that frivolous cybercrime charge at the Federal High Court 4, before Honorable Justice Zainab Abubakar on Monday, March 27th.
- Either of three things will happen.
- I will be granted bail by the court and I meet my bail conditions the same day and return home.
- I will be granted bail and won’t be able to meet the bail conditions on the same day and will be remanded in prison custody till I meet my bail conditions, then I go home.
iii. I will not be granted bail and will be remanded till the next adjourned date. But there is none of these situations will take me by surprise.
- This same family arrested me after I busted their corruption at the Cross River Micro Finance Bank which isn’t working till date. They claimed I defamed the bank.
- In this same characteristic manner, I was first arrested and charged with Terrorism, Treasonable Felony, Attempt to overthrow Buhari and Ayade, and Cultism. Just because I exposed corruption.
- While in Police custody in Calabar, they slammed a N500 million defamation civil charge on me and the bailiff came to throw the court process in my face because my hands were cuffed. The court discharged and acquitted me. They are just playing the same script here.
- Their biggest desire now is to see me remanded again as they share the grace from office. I participated actively in their retirement from office and they are angry and raging.
- It takes insight to comprehend that locking me behind bars is part and parcel of what I have chosen to do with my life. I do not like it. I do not arrange for it. I do not look forward to it. I hate leaving my family to go stay in jail. But anytime it comes, I have taken it with fortitude. I only do my work as a journalist and like a surgeon bargain to see blood every day which I personally cannot stand, going to jail as a consequence of the work I do is part of my professional bargain. It is not a victory for my adversary. It is an accolade for yours sincerely.
- I am always and ever willing to bear the consequences of my activities, be they right or wrong. It has actually made me who I am. I couldn’t have been the man you read today if I didn’t go through this crucible.
- I have also been rewarded with robust support from my family members and a larger support base out there including you, who all got my back and support the work I do.
- How-so-ever-be-it, some assurances I want to give you for the support you have always availed me include….
¶ I have not lied against anyone. What I said about Alami is correct and shall be proven.
¶ Alami knows deep inside her heart that though she was in the exams hall that day, she is the one who procured Pascal to write her law school exams for her.
¶ To gain access, Idoko, the Iaw school IT staff, (who was also arrested and charged with Pascal), was paid to generate an ID card bearing Orekoya Benjamin Kayode, for Pascal to wear and gain access into the exam hall to write and swap answer sheets with Alami.
¶ I will not shy away from proving my allegations in court. Those who are frantically running after me to intimidate me know that I will and I will.
¶ Any one thinking that using the Police to harass and intimidate me and dragging me from one dock to another will cow me, is oblivious of my antecedents, my convictions, and the God that I serve.
¶ You cannot use stolen money; money that was meant for the construction of roads, water, hospitals, and social services for our people, which you have diverted into your private accounts to gain victory over a man that is fighting for society to be better. God doesn’t bend toward that arc.
I am a village boy, I understand what it means for you people in Obudu as you are departing public office and how the family was roundly rejected and the shame that comes with it. But even greater shame awaits the baby lawyer when that wig and gown will eventually be returned to where it rightfully belongs.
Citizen Agba Jalingo is the Publisher of CrossRiverWatch and a rights activist, a Cross Riverian, and writes from Lagos.
NB: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, Agba Jalingo, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.