By Agba Jalingo
Prosecution granted leave for witness protection leading to my secret trial. Entire court room cleared.
My lawyers led by Adeyinka Fusika SAN, Attah Ochinke Esq, James Ibor Esq and others, walked out of the court room in protest of the secret trial.
My Lord orders everyone, lawyers, the public, the press, the court duty police officers, the correction officers who brought me to court from prison, and everyone else, out of the court room except My Lord, my prosecutor, myself and one unidentified DSS lady.
The witness box was appended with two wooden poles and wrapped in a black cloth. Like in a movie scene, a masked witness then appears from My Lord’s chamber, tottering through the court’s alter down to the court room and straddles his way into the black clothed witness box.
My Lord then asks me to defend myself in the absence of my lawyers who had left the court in protest.
The crowd that filled the hall were adamant. Some were ready to be arrested and would not keep quiet.
There was palpable anger. There were close to 100 security personnel drawn from both the Police, DSS, Civil Defence and Prisons Armed Squad in the court, some of them hooded, with an Armoured Personnel Vehicle mounted at the entrance of the court.
These award winning photographs (seen above) were taken under very difficult conditions that have been captured in my book “The Pain In Jail.”
I could see all these events that day, first from the pigeon hole of the Black Maria on arrival at the court, and also when I alighted from the Black Maria to be un-cuffed, as well as through the court room windows while in the dock.
I had to call one of the security operatives at a point and asked him, “Sir, all this security deployment, is it for me or did you people bring another suspect?
He answered: “No be you be Agba Jalingo?
“I am sir!”
“You are standing trial for terrorism na. Wetin you expect?”
And I just smiled as always and you know I love to smile, regardless of my storms.
In due time, when the chains are finally loosened, I will tell you more about what happened inside the court that day and other days.
I am presently barred from talking about those details by My Lord and I don’t want to incur the wrath of My Lord.
Citizen Agba Jalingo.