Rotimi Jolayemi, a freelance broadcaster, who was allegedly arrested for criticising Lai Mohammed, minister of information, has been charged with “causing annoyance” towards the minister, according to PUNCH.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CB/ 104/2020 was filed at the federal high court in Abuja.
He had recorded an eight-minute audio critical of the minister and Broadcast it via WhatsApp.
Jolayemi, referred to as “Oba Akewi”, is the vice-chairman Freelance and Independent Radio Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (FIBAN), Osun state chapter.
That you, Jolayemi Oba Akewi, man, aged 43 years on or concerning the 14th day of April 2020 at Osolo Compound Ekan Nla, Kwara State, within the territory of this honourable court did send out audio message through your android phone device to a group Whatsapp system referred to as ‘Ekan Sons and Daughters’ and which went viral instantly after it was published for the purpose of causing aggravation, insult, hatred and hostility to the existing Hon. Minister of Information and Culture, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and therefore committed an offence contrary to Section 24( 1 )( b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015,” the charge read.
Every time we went there with our legal representatives, they would turn us back. We asked that he be charged however the police state they do not have anything to make use of against him yet.”
Olu Olugbade, FIBAN chairman, had earlier told TheCable that Mohammed listened to Jolayemi’s audio and tagged it hate speech.
He said prior to the broadcaster was arrested, his wife and brothers were traced in Kwara where they were and lived apprehended by the police.
He claimed Jolayemi is a law-abiding citizen and would not set out to hurt the minister. He likewise raised concerns over the health condition of the apprehended broadcaster.
Olugbade said his organisation has made attempt in appealing to the minister however its allure fell on deaf ears.
Comrade Jolayemi later on showed up at the police headquarters in Ilorin and submitted himself for investigation. He was after that relocated to Abuja and given that we have indeed not been allowed access to him,” Olugbade had stated.
The police said the act remained in breach of section 24( 1 )( b) of the cybercrimes act 2015.
Groups such as the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) have since called for the release of the journalist.
Hereafter, the police apprehended him and he had spent weeks in detention before he was credited court.
Jolayemi’s health can’t manage this sort of detention and I hesitate if he’s not released on time, things might obtain even worse,” he had indeed claimed.