Activist, Kayode Ogundamisi, arrested, released

Kayode Ogundamisi

An activist and leading campaigner for good governance, Kayode Ogundamisi, said he is not considering pressing charges against the Nigeria police for harassing him in Akure, the Ondo state capital, on Monday.

Mr Ogundamisi was on Monday arrested and detained for over two hours by police for filming the state headquarters of the Ondo state office of the Independent National Electoral Commission.

“I took a long paronamic shot of INEC far away from the building and the security agents accosted me, seized the camera and made me delete the pictures,” he  told PREMIUM TIMES shortly after his release.

He was released later that night, two hours 30 minutes later,  without charges after INEC’s resident electoral commissioner in the state and the state police public relations officer requested his release.

He said rather than press charges against the police for his arrest and the deletion of photos from his camera, his goal is to ensure “that citizens should not be harassed for acts that are of no issue in other democracies”.

Mr Ogunadamisi, who is based in London, is a known critic of the government on social media.

He had returned to Nigeria to cover, and encourage young voters to broadcast proceedings of Saturday’s governorship election in the state with their mobile phones and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

“I believe the use of mobile phone will stem ballot box snatching and electoral fraud,” he said.

“I understand we have heightened security but citizens should be able to take photo of public buildings without hindrance,” he said.

His arrest and detention highlights the deeply entrenched bullying attitude of the Nigeria police force.

In his case, Mr Ogundamisi said he was informed he needed the permission of the Inspector General of Police or the INEC chairman to take the photographs he took.

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Emmanuel Ogala is an investigative reporter and heads the Digital Strategy unit of PREMIUM TIMES. Emmanuel, an experienced web developer. Before joining PREMIUM TIMES, Emmanuel worked for 234NEXT. His stories have won awards in the 2014 CNN-Multichoice African Journalist of the Year award and the 2013 Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism awards.

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