Journalist, Agba Jalingo, who is facing treason charges for a report about alleged diversion of N500 million by Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, has requested a change of judge.

Mr Jalingo has been in prison since Justice Simon Amobeda of the Federal High Court in Calabar denied him bail twice.

Arrested on August 22, Jalingo spent 34 days in police detention before being arraigned on September 25.

Jalingo, in a letter dated November 27 to the chief judge of the Federal High Court, based his request on a leaked audio clip where Justice Amobeda allegedly said the journalist would be treated like late Ogoni leader, Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Mr Saro-Wiwa was killed on November 10, 1995, by Sani Abacha-led military administration.

An online newspaper website published the audio clip on November 14.

“Late Gani Fawehinmi walked out on the tribunal in Ogoni matter. What happened? The matter went on and Ken Saro-Wiwa was convicted and sentenced to death. “I told the young man (Jalingo) yesterday, your life now is in the hands of the court,” the judge was quoted saying.

Jalingo, however, told the chief judge in the letter that he did not see the chance of a fair trial before Justice Amobeda.

He requested that the case be transferred to another court outside Calabar so that the new judge would be “less susceptible to local political pressure.”


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