The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights has condemned the arrest and detention of an on-air-personality, Rotimi Jolayemi popularly known as Oba Akewi, for reading a poem during a radio programme. Mr. Jolayemi is an independent radio personality and the Vice Chairman Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (FIBAN) Osun state chapter. His
The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights has condemned the arrest and detention of an on-air-personality, Rotimi Jolayemi popularly known as Oba Akewi, for reading a poem during a radio programme.
Mr. Jolayemi is an independent radio personality and the Vice Chairman Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (FIBAN) Osun state chapter.
His arrest and detention is said to be at the instance of the Honourable Minister for Information and Culture Alhaji Lai Mohammed though no information is provided about the programme and the radio station where the poem was recited.
But Mr. Olu Olugbade, the FIBAN chairman who confirmed the development also shed more light to what happened saying that Jolayemi had recorded an eight-minute audio critical of the minister and released it via WhatsApp.
The audio started going viral, and days after, his wife and brothers were traced in Kwara where they lived and were detained by the police, Olugbade said.
The minister’s spokesman, Segun Adeyemi, however, denied the allegation.“The minister did not order the arrest of anyone. Kindly direct your inquiry to the appropriate authorities,”
It is believed that the on-air-personality is being detained at the Federal Investigation Bureau of the Nigerian Police Force, Abuja.
But in a statement calling for his release the National President, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, Dr Osagie Obayuwana said that the detention of Jolayemi was unlawful and detestable.
The statement partly reads, “The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights is alarmed at the continued detention of a journalist, Mr Rotimi Jolayemi, said to have been arrested at the instance of Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on account of a poem read over the radio considered critical of the minister.
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.”