A journalist, who was arrested for writing and reading a poem he wrote criticizing the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, by the police, has finally been charged after 17 days in detention.
Rotimi Jolayemi, aka Oba Akewi, has been charged for “acting in a manner that can cause annoyance and hatred” for the minister.
The current development in not unconnected with the outcry in the media a couple of days ago about the incarceration of the journalist and is coming after the minister and his spokesman, Segun Adeyemi, denied having anything to do with Jolayemi’s arrest.
In the charge sheet marked, FHC/ABJ/CB/104/2020, the police alleged that, on April 14, 2020, shared an audio file in a Whatsapp group which subsequently went viral.
In the charge sheet signed by the Prosecuting Counsel, Prosecution Section, Joseph Offor, the police said the act was in contravention of Section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrimes Act 2015.
The charge read: “That you, Jolayemi Oba Akewi, male, aged 43 years on or about the 14th day of April 2020 at Osolo Compound EKan Nla, Kwara State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did send audio message through your android phone device to a group Whatsapp platform known as ‘Ekan Sons and Daughters’ and which went viral immediately after it was posted for the purpose of causing annoyance, insult, hatred and ill will to the current Hon. Minister of Information and Culture, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015.”
The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) had, through its director, said, during the week, had condemned the journalist’s arrest, as well as the arrest and harassment of his wife and siblings,QuickNewsAfrica reports.
Jolayemi is the vice-chairman, Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria, Osun State chapter.