Journalist Agba Jalingo has been released on bail from Calabar Prison, Cross River state, southern Nigeria. However, Agba Jalingo and human rights defenders Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Adebayo Bakare continue to face trumped-up charges of treason because they demanded government accountability. They face a life sentence if they are found guilty of these charges. All charges against the journalist and human rights defenders must be immediately and unconditionally dropped.
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Nigerian Presidential Complex
Aso Rock Presidential Villa
Federal Capital Territory
I write to express my concern for Agba Jalingo, Olawale Adebayo Bakare and Omoyele Sowore, who are currently facing charges in Nigeria.
I am aware that the journalist and human rights defenders have been released on bail. However, they continue to face trumped up charges. Journalist Agba Jalingo is charged with committing acts of treason, treasonable felony, publishing false information and instigating terrorism, for publishing an article in which he demanded the Cross River State government be accountable for NGN500 million naira (1.4 million United States Dollars equivalent) reportedly approved and released for the floating of the Cross River Microfinance Bank.
Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Adebayo Bakare are facing charges for planning a protest, tagged #RevolutionNow, to demand respect for human rights and the rule of law in Nigeria, which is considered by the government as an act of treason and a call for an undemocratic overthrow of government.
Agba Jalingo, Olawale Adebayo Bakare and Omoyele Sowore have been charged for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and I call on you to immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against them.