The minister for culture and information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has been accused of ordering the Nigerian police to illegally detain a popular radio personality, Rotimi Jolayemi, aka Oba Akewi and his family for 12 days for criticizing him.
The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights(CDHR) made the allegation in a new statement on Monday through its National President, Dr Osagie Obayuwana.
“Mr Jolayemi is said to have been arrested by the police at the instance of the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on account of a poem read over the radio, considered critical of the minister.
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“It is worrisome that Alhaji Lai Mohammed would have a hand in the arrest of the wife of Mr Jolayemi, Mrs Dorcas Jolayemi, and two of his brothers who were kept in detention for eight days, nine days and two days respectively as hostages, while the journalist, Mr Rotimi Jolayemi, was being sought.
“Furthermore, that even since Mr Jolayemi surrendered himself to the police headquarters at Ilorin, Kwara State on May 6, 2020, he is still being held till date, 12 days later, without being charged to court or granted bail.”
But a spokesman for the minister, Mr Segun Adeyemi, denied the allegation.
He said, “The minister did not order the arrest of anyone. Kindly direct your inquiry to the appropriate authorities.”
The Police Public Relations Officer in Kwara State, Okasanmi Ajayi, said he was not aware of the development while the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr Frank Mba, did not respond to calls.