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State witnesses to testify against journalist, Agba Jalingo wearing masks

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Journalist Jalingo to remain in detention another 5 days as prosecutor asks for adjournment of case

Witnesses lined up to testify against a journalist, Agba Jalingo in his ongoing terrorism and treasonable felony trial in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, would do so wearing masks, a Federal High Court sitting in Calabar has ruled.

The presiding judge, Justice Simon Amobeda, gave the order while granting an application by the prosecution to mask its witnesses in a case against Jalingo.

Jalingo is facing four charges bordering on terrorism, treasonable felony and attempt to topple the Cross River State government.

The judge said he relied on Sections 33 and 34 of the terrorism prevention and amendment act 2013 as well as international conventions including those of the United Nations and African Commission of Human and People’s rights among others to grant the plea of the prosecution.

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With the ruling, the public and the press will not be allowed into the Courtroom when the witness is testifying.

The judge ruled further that the witness will testify behind curtains in a cubicle and the defendant and his counsel will also not be privy to the name, alias or any other detail of the witness.

The prosecution counsel, Dennis Tarhemba filed a motion on October 11, 2019 seeking the amendment of charges and to protect witness.

The order was sought based on Sections 33 and 34 of the terrorism prevention and amendment act 2013; section 216 sub section 1 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act and Section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

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