Journalist accused of insulting minister speaks after release from detention

Lai Mohammed [Photo: BBC]
Lai Mohammed [Photo: BBC]

Rotimi Jolayemi, a journalist detained for broadcasting a poem deemed insulting to the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has spoken about his experience while in police detention.

Mr Jolayemi told PREMIUM TIMES he did not regret his detention as it was ordained to happen.

Mr Jolayemi, who anchors a Yoruba radio programme, ‘Bi aye se ri’ on Osun State Broadcasting Service and Radio Kwara, was arrested by the police on May 5.

According to a document obtained by our reporter, the police filed a one-count charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/104/2020 against the journalist on May 22, 16 days after he was detained.

However, on Friday, the Nigeria Police Force released him following the approval of his bail application by the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Before Friday, several rights activists and groups had called for the release of the journalist, accusing Mr Mohammed of abuse of power.


Speaking with this newspaper on Saturday, Mr Jolayemi confirmed that the police had earlier detained his wife, Dorcas Jolayemi, for eight days in a bid to get at him.

Also, he said two of his relatives, Joseph Jolayemi and John Jolayemi, were also detained for two days.

Commenting on his ordeal with the police in Abuja, he said “he was treated nicely and that the cops handled him in a professional way.”

“When I was taken from Ilorin to Abuja, those people (the police) took care of me even on the way. They did everything nicely to me. When I got to Abuja. The AIG told them to take good care of me. I was not tortured. They did everything with professionalism,” he said.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated after Mr Jolayemi clarified his comment about not regretting the incident.


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