In this interview with ENIOLA AKINKUOTU, Mrs Dorcas Jolayemi, the spouse of a journalist detained for criticizing Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, recounts her eight-day ordeal in the custody of the Kwara State Police Command.
A human rights organization claimed you spent eight days in police detention due to the fact of your husband’s poem, which was once vital of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed. Can you narrate the occasions that led to your arrest?
On April 29, 2020 policemen got here to my residence in Ilorin, Kwara State, however I used to no longer at home. I had long past to my brother-in-law. I was informed that when they realized I was not at home, they got here to my brother-in-law’s residence in a Hilux van. They are about 4 policemen altogether. They stated that they had come to arrest me and I stood up. They asked me where my telephone is and I instructed them it was with my son.
They said I need to follow them to their station with my phone. Eventually, I got the cellphone and we left. On getting to the State Criminal Investigation Department, they commenced to interrogate me. They requested why I obstructed the arrest of my husband.
They asked me when final I spoke with my husband and I said I spoke with him in the morning. They stated they desired to arrest my husband and he fled to Maro in Kwara State. They stated I was once the one who cautioned him to run away and swap off his phone. They performed a recording of my smartphone dialog with my husband.
Apparently, they had bugged my cellphone and that of my husband. I admitted that, indeed, I instructed my husband to run away, however it wasn’t a crime due to the fact I didn’t habour him. I solely asked him now not to come home, which is what a normal spouse would do. I heard the police desired to arrest him and I didn’t comprehend the motive why they desired to arrest him. I advised him to run away due to the fact I desired him to be safe. They stated for that, I would pay for it. I used to be introduced earlier than their boss and the man insulted me, calling me a dull woman. He stated I shouldn’t have suggested my husband to run away. The man stated I would pay for it and they took my statement. I was there from April 29 to May 6.
What precisely used to be your husband accused of doing?
While I was once in detention, they performed a recording of the poem that used to be recited by way of my husband. They requested I should affirm if the voice belonged to my husband and I stated it used to be his voice. They stated how ought to my husband be insulting Lai Mohammed, a minister. They stated it was Lai Mohammed that ordered them to arrest him.
When you had been in detention, have been you tortured by way of the police?
My journey in police custody used to be horrible. It was my older sister that was bringing meals to me. I wasn’t allowed to talk with anybody. They didn’t let me communicate with my son. I slept on the hall of the toilet. The vicinity was horrible. I couldn’t sleep most of the time due to the fact of mosquitoes. I would remain sleepless most nights to ward off the mosquitoes.
Did you have get entry to your legal professional at some point of that period?
No. They didn’t even permit me to discuss to anyone, no longer even to my lawyer.
Did the police additionally arrest different household of yours?
My husband’s youthful brother, Mr Joseph Jolayemi, was also arrested on April 28. At the time of his arrest, he was accused of possessing a stolen mobile phone. However, on getting to the SCID, he was interrogated. The police requested him questions about my husband. They consequently performed a smartphone dialog he had with my husband. It used to be apparent that his telephone had additionally been bugged. My husband’s older brother, John Jolayemi, was also additionally arrested.
Who took care of your youngsters in your absence?
My brother-in-law’s spouse was the one that took care of them.
Did you bribe the police earlier than you have been released?
When my husband sooner or later introduced himself a week later, we were released. He got here with a lawyer. So we signed some documents. I can’t genuinely say what passed off afterwards. I don’t understand if the police have been given cash or not. My brothers-in-law may additionally know.
How has your fitness been for the reason that your release?
My two brothers-in-law and I have been all hospitalized after we have been released. We spent about a week in hospital. We had extreme malaria. It used to be a stressful experience.
Have you had contact with your husband in view that his arrest?
The closing time I noticed or spoke to my husband was once on May 5, 2020, the day he grew to become himself in at the SCID. On Thursday, which used to be May 7, he was once taken to Abuja and seeing that then, he has remained there.
Do you be aware of if he is alive and well?
Sincerely, I don’t even recognize if he is alive or now not due to the fact I have no get entry to to him. Even his brothers are getting records about him from 0.33 parties. I don’t understand whether or not he is ailing or well. I fear about him each day.
Have you made tries to plead with Lai Mohammed to drop the case?
According to my brothers-in-law, they depatched representatives to plead with Lai Mohammed to drop the case. They stated the Oba of Ilala in Kwara State and some different regular rulers had long past to the minister to plead with him, however he has refused to respond. Some even went to the minister’s homeland in Oro to plead with elders in his community, however there has been no tremendous response.
Who has been supplying for your household due to the fact that your husband’s arrest?
At present, we are staying with my brother-in-law. He is the one that is taking care of us.