The prosecution of journalist, Agba Jalingo, took another twist on Thursday morning as the Cross River State Government reverted to the initial charges of treason, terrorism, cultism and attempt to topple the administration of Governor Ben Ayade.
Jalingo was docked before Justice Sule Shuaibu of the Calabar division of the Federal High Court for the first time after former trial Judge, Simon Amobeda, recused himself.
When the matter was called up for Jalingo to take a fresh plea on the amended charges filed on October 11, 2019, which bordered on three counts of terrorism and one count of cybercrime, the judge discovered that a clean copy was not filed by the former prosecutor, Dennis Tarhemba.
Despite the explanation given by the defense counsel that both parties have relied on the copy of the charge used as an annexure to the motion to amend charges, Justice Shuaibu said it was not a proper process filed before the court and can not stand on it’s own.
Taking the hint of the court, the prosecution counsel and Attorney-General of Cross River State, Tanko Ashang, said they will rely on the initial charges filed on August 30, 2019, which included charges of treason, terrorism, cultism and attempt to topple the Cross River State Government.
Jalingo pleaded not guilty to all charges.
The matter is still ongoing with the defense counsel expected to move the motion for bail.