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Nigerian Journalist, family detained for reciting poem against President Buhari

Radio personality, Rotimi Jolayem, popularly known as Oba Akewi, is being illegally detained by the Nigeria Police. This was made known to the public by Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR).

It was reported that Rotimi recited a poem that was critical of the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed and currently in the custody of the Federal Investigation Bureau of the Force. It was also stated that Rotimi’s family are being detained as well.

In a statement released by its president, Osagie Obayuwana, CDHR made it clear that the arrests are illegal.

CDHR noted that “Jolayemi is said to have been arrested by the police at the instance of the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on account of a poem read over the radio, considered critical of the minister.

The rights group also alleged the Minister of information for having a hand in the arrest of Jolayemi’s family members, which includes Jolayemi’s wife Dorcas, ‘and two of his brothers who were kept in detention for eight days, nine days and two days respectively as hostages, while the journalist, Mr Rotimi Jolayemi, was being sought”.

It was also stated that Jolayemi surrendered himself to the police headquarters at Ilorin, Kwara State on May 6, 2020.

“He is still being held till date, 12 days later, without being charged to court or granted bail”, Obayuwana condemned.

The group concluded that detaining Jolayemi’s family due to his refusal to show up violated Section 7 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, which forbids hostage-taking and the arrest of any person in place of another.

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