STILL ON THE CASE BETWEEN ELIZABETH AYADE, CROSS RIVER GOVERNOR’S IN-LAW AND AGBA JALINGO

Elizabeth Ayade, the wife of Frank Ayade – a brother to the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade, is being linked to the arrest of the activist and journalist in the state, Agba Jalingo.

This was according to the report of the Federal Capital Territory Police Command, late Saturday.

“On Saturday, August 20, 2022, Jalingo was arrested by the State Criminal Investigative Department operatives in response to a petition filed against him by one Elizabeth Ayade.

“He was arrested over a false allegation, claiming that she (Elizabeth) paid one Mr. Pascal to write an examination for her at the law school,” the statement, signed by the Police Spokesperson, Josephine Adeh, read partly.

Before this arrest, certain issues had transpired involving Ayade’s in-law and the publisher of CrossRiverWatch.

Elizabeth writes Jalingo

Elizabeth, had through her lawyers, Uyi Frank Obayagbona & Co, in a letter obtained by our correspondent, dated July 6, 2022, directed to Jalingo, asked the publisher to delete a report on his media platform allegedly defaming the character of Elizabeth.

The letter stated that Elizabeth was being linked to one Paschal Aboh, who was said to have been arrested in May 2022, and being prosecuted for involving in examination malpractice at the Nigerian Law School for impersonating a yet-to-be-identified candidate – rumoured, allegedly to be Elizabeth, the wife of the governor’s brother.

Paschal is said to have been suspended as a lecturer at the University of Calabar for impersonation.

The letter from Elizabeth’s lawyer was titled, ‘DEFAMATORY PUBLICATION ON MRS ELIZABETH ALAMI FRANK AYADE.’

It read partly, “We are Solicitors to M. Elizabeth, on whose instructions and behalf, we write.

“Our client has drawn our attention to your online publication ‘Cross River Watch, of June 30, 2022 and your Facebook publication.”

Part of the letter read, “Similarly, sometime in the month of June, 2022 you also published in your Facebook account as follows: ‘Pascal Aboh, the Law lecturer who was arrested at the Law School in Bwari, went to write that exam for the wife of a prominent politician from Obudu, just wait for the details.

‘#Law School Needs to Explain. Why charge Pascal Aboh to court and shielding Alami Frank Ayade, who procured Pascal to write her Law School Exam for her? Because she is rich?”

The letter further read, “We wish to state emphatically that the natural and ordinary meaning of these words which are seriously defamatory of our client is that our client is a cheat, fraudster, influence peddler, untrustworthy and a deceitful person, who obtained her numerous academic qualifications by false pretenses and also seeking to become a member of the noble profession as a Legal Practitioner by dubious means. The above words published by you are completely false in their entirety and extremely libelous on our client in total disregard of the ethics and tenets of journalism.

“By your said publication, our client’s reputation and personality have been seriously maligned and injured by the defamatory words, the nature of which are deeply distressing and embarrassing to our client and her family.

“Flowing from the foregoing, we have our client’s instructions to demand and we hereby, demand as follows: The immediate unequivocal retraction of the publication on all your media platforms. That you publish forthwith an open apology to our client on two National Dailies and your online platforms including but not limited to CrossRiverWatch, Facebook, Instagram etc.”

A sum of 500 million naira was also demanded from Jalingo as compensation, and subsequently threatened legal action. He was asked to respond within 14 days of receipt of the letter.

Jalingo seeks detail from Law School

Jalingo had, on June 24, in a Facebook post, shared a response from the Nigerian Law School. Jalingo stated that the Law School declined to provide the detail of the candidate who was being impersonated by the arrested culprit. This detail was requested by Jalingo’s media outfit through its lawyer, James Ibor.

On June 8, the Law School, in response, directed the media outfit to the Attorney General of the Federation, noting that the case was being reviewed.

The response, signed by the Deputy Director & Head, Information and Protocol, Chinedu Ukekwe, was titled ‘RE: REQUEST FOR THE IDENTITY OF THE UNNAMED LAW SCHOOL STUDENT IN THE 2022 RESIT EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE CASE AT THE NIGERIAN LAW SCHOOL ABUJA, UNDER EXTANT PROVISIONS OF THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT.’

It read, “I have been directed to acknowledge with thanks the receipt of your letter on the above subject matter dated May 30, 2022.

“I am also to inform you that both the administrative and criminal processes in the matter under review are ongoing and as expected, the Council of Legal Education will issue a statement in due course.

“Consequent on the above, we advise that you await the outcome of the processes already put in place or in the alternative, contact the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, the office that is handling the criminal element.”

The PUNCH made efforts to hear from Elizabeth Ayade. When a call was put across, on Saturday, to a number gotten to be her husband – Frank Ayade’s, the respondent to the call was silent.

The PUNCH reported that Jalingo was arrested in a Gestapo manner on Friday after his Lagos residence came under siege by men of the Nigeria Police Force. He was subsequently moved to Alapere Police Station and subsequently detained at Area F Police Station till Saturday.

The police flew him to Abuja and subsequently released him on bail in the night, asking him to report on Monday.

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