The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has ordered the arrest and detention of a journalist, Rotimi Jolayemi, also known as Oba Akewi, over a poem read during a radio programme the minister considers critical of him.
Before the journalist turned himself in to the police, the minister ordered the arrest of his wife, Mrs Dorcas Jolayemi, and two of the media practitioner’s brothers, John and Joseph were all locked up for 8, 9 and 2 days respectively.
This was all due to the poem read on a radio programme by the journalist which the minister considered as being mockery targeted at him .
The journalist had no other option than to turn himself in at the Police Headquarters in Illorin Kwara state so that his two brothers and wife can be set free.
But since then, no effort has been made to charge him to court or release him, instead he has been detained unlawfully under the orders of Lai Mohammed.
The committee for the defence of human rights has today being Monday condemned the act through their national president Dr Osagie Obayuwana.
He labeled the act as being detestable and highly unlawful.
He is overwhelmed as to why Lai Mohammed would arrest Mr Rotimi Jolayemi over just a poem read on a radio programme and nothing has been done to charge the case to the court of Law.
To make the matters worse, Dr Osagie said that it is still bad to order the arrest of his wife and brothers even when he turned himself in.
As a country that has a functioning human rights, It is total condemnation to arrest Mrs Jolayemi, John Jolayemi and Joseph Jolayemi simply because they are related to the Journalist and this is a violation of those human rights.
Mr Jolayemi should be released or charged to court as his continued detention is tantamount to punishing a Nigerian citizen for just an opinion expression or are not allowed to do that anymore.
This is a stamp on our rights as Nigerians and it doesn’t look good for the country and journalists.
Nigerians are crying out for the release of Mr. Jolayemi with immediate effect and a profound public apology from Lai Mohammed to the four wrongfully detained persons.
“It is worrisome that Alhaji Lai Mohammed will have a hand in the arrest of wife of the journalist, Mrs Dorcas Jolayemi, and two of his brothers, John Olalere Jolayemi and Joseph Toba Jolayemi, who were kept in detention for eight, nine and two days respectively while the journalist was being sought.
“Furthermore, that even since Mr Jolayemi surrendered himself to the Police Headquarters in Ilorin, Kwara State, on May 6, 2020, he is still being held till date without being charged to court or granted bail.
“The CDHR condemns in totality the violation of rights of Mr. Jolayemi’s wife and brothers whose liberty were taken away from them for no other reason than being relations of Mr. Jolayemi.
“The continued detention of Mr. Jolayemi by the police at the instance of Alhaji Lai Mohammed is tantamount to punishing a citizen for the expression of his opinion. This is not justifiable in our Nigeria of today.
“We demand the immediate release of Mr. Jolayemi, a public apology to him, his wife and brothers and payment of compensation to all four of them.”
Calls put across to the media aides of the minister, Williams Adeleye and Mr. Adeleye, went unanswered.
Text messages sent to them were also yet to be responded to as of the time of this report.
Courtesy: Sahara Reporters