After 17 days in detention, the Nigeria Police Force has charged a Journalist, Rotimi Jolayemi, aka Oba Akewi, to court, for “acting in a manner that can cause ‘annoyance’ and ‘hatred’ for the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed”.
The development comes less than 5 days after Lai Mohammed through his Spokesman, Segun Adeyemi, denied causing the arrest of Jolayemi, who is the Vice Chairman, Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria, Osun State Chapter.
In the charge sheet marked, FHC/ABJ/CB/104/2020, the Police alleged that Jolayemi 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 that the act is 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, had said during the week, that Jolayemi was being illegally detained at the Federal Investigation Bureau of the Nigeria Police Force, Abuja, for reciting a poem on air, which was critical to the Minister.