Agba Jalingo: Kunnu as the cheerleader of the uneducated, By Chidi Onyemaizu

Posted by News Express | 1 January 2020 | 974 times

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•Chidi Onyemaizu
By the grace of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, one Adeniyi Kunnu has the right to hold and express both private and public views. But the constitution does not also confer on him the right to misinform and mislead the public which was what he did in his piece in SaharaReporters concerning the detention and trial of Agba Jalingo for alleged treason.

No one knows if the highly jaundiced piece was his first attempt at mischief. If it was, then Mr. Kunnu failed because it was largely an infantile and failed voyage at seeking recruits to discredit Governor Ben Ayade.

The piece is puerile and fraught with inaccuracies, hearsay, ignorance and outright lies. Mr. Kunnu was merciless to himself. He showcased crass disconnect with education and quality information.

If Mr. Kunnu had the knack for the two, he would have saved himself the odium of advertising his infantility by getting hold of Agba Jalingo’s charge sheet which clearly exculpates Governor Ayade of complicity in his (Agba Jalingo) treason case.

Because Mr. Kunnu did not do this, he only succeeded in selling his stale tale to merchants of inanities and falsehood like himself. The educated minds are not deceived by his inglorious treatise which verges on idleness.

For the avoidance of doubt, let Kunnu and his co-travellers in deliberate mischief be informed that being a professional body of custodians of the law, the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA has the presence of mind to recognise the fact that Ayade has no legal and Executive powers to, by fiat, order a halt to Agba’s trial or decree his release.

This is because the matter in court does not have the imprimatur of the governor but that of the federal government.

Lawyers know this to be true. No less a person than Barrister Inibehe Effiong, the National Legal Adviser of Agba Jalingo’s party, the AAC, has reiterated this clearly and poignantly.

His words: “First, the charges against Jalingo (treason, terrorism) are essentially federal offences (based on an Act of the National Assembly).

“He was not charged under the Criminal Code Law of Cross River State but under the Criminal Code Act Cap. C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and under the Terrorism (Prevention Amendment) Act 2013.

“Second, he is being tried in the Federal High Court, not Cross River State High Court.

“Third, the charge was filed in the name of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; not in the name of the Cross River State of Nigeria.

“No State in Nigeria can institute a criminal charge against any person in the name of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Fourth, the Attorney General of Cross River State cannot enter a nolle prosequi (cannot discontinue the case). Only the Attorney General of the Federation can do so.”

Kunnu left no one in doubt that his ill-fated mission to denigrate and discredit Ayade is part of a gang up by a misguided few against the governor but he and his gang have failed.

•Chidi Onyemaizu is the Senior Special Assistant on Print Media to Governor Ayade.

Source: News Express

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