Adeyinka Shoyemi, a Nigerian living in west London, has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail for encouraging racial hatred and violence in Nigeria using inflammatory messages, Evening Standard reported.
Mr Shoyemi, 45, of Powis Terrace in Notting Hill, first came to the attention of counter-terror police in March 2019 after members of the public tipped them off about the posts targeting particular ethnic groups in Nigeria.
The messages, posted by accounts under the name ‘Adeyinka Grandson’, were assessed by a specialist group of officers in the Met’s Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU).
They found that the posts, which had commentary encouraging attacks against certain ethnic groups, were in potential breach of the law and launched a probe.
He was first arrested at his home address in August 2019, with officers searching three properties linked to him and seizing various digital devices.
Mr Shoyemi was initially charged with six counts of inciting racial hatred and he was released on bail with a condition not to post any more social media posts which were threatening, abusive or insulting to any ethnic groups.
But he flouted his bail conditions and was rearrested.
Consequently, two more charges of inciting racial hatred were added.
Mr Shoyemi was sentenced to four-and-a-half years’ behind bars on Thursday.
He was found guilty on November 30 of eight counts of inciting racial hatred after a trial at Southwark Crown Court.
Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command, said: “Our Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit – the first of its kind to be established anywhere in the world – was instrumental in identifying Shoyemi and his activity.
“Over the last ten years, the CTIRU has been at the forefront of getting harmful content removed from the internet, and detecting and investigating potential terrorist-related activity online.
“We continue to need the help and support of the public and I would encourage anyone who comes across material or posts that could be related to terrorism or violent extremist activity to report it to us, so that our specialist officers can take action where necessary.”
Mr Shoyemi’s controversial posts on social media
Mr Shoyemi, on various social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, consistently made posts pitching the three major ethnic nationalities in Nigeria against each other.
Mr Shoyemi, who described himself as the president of the Young Yoruba for Freedom group, would always make posts putting the Yoruba people against the Igbo and Fulani speaking people of Nigeria.
In one of the videos he posted on Twitter, he said the Igbo speaking people were responsible for the 1966 military coup.
He added that he believes in the use of force to get what he wants.
Mr Shoyemi also made posts targeting popular Igbos and other nationals who do not agree with his ideology.
For instance, on August 26, 2021, in a post titled cultural appropriation, he insinuated that Jason Njoku of Iroko TV was a trickster for using a Yoruba word as his business name.
“Cultural Appropriation: An Igbo, Jason Nkoju, went so far as to use th-e word Iroko TV to carve out his brand. He knew that using an Ibo word would be unprofitable, so he tricked Iroko TV subscribers who are mainly Yoruba, to think that they have signed up to a Yoruba platform,” he wrote.
“We have a categorical duty to ask the Ibo to respect the dignity of the Yoruba people and not stop using our names as a means for even a good end,” he said in a separate post.
On July 30, 2021, he urged ‘’full blooded yoruba’’ people to boycott a Nigerian newspaper, P.M. News, for alleged image laundering.
“P.M. News, a Yoruba newspaper is being used to whitewash the image of Abba Kyari, a Fulani fraudster and killer while Sunday Igboho is being destroyed by the Fulani. A disgrace to P.M. News. Full blooded Yoruba should boycott the newspaper,” Mr Shoyemi wrote.
In one of his videos made in Yoruba, he said the Igbo and Fulani speaking people are the cause of the woes in Yorubaland. He claimed, without evidence, that they are killing the Yorubas and raping their children.
He stated that he does not like the Igbos and if he ever gets into power, he would use them (Igbos) as an experiment.
During the #EndSARS protests against police brutality, Mr Shoyemi claimed that most officers of the police unit were Fulanis and Igbos who used their positions to kill Yorubas.
“SARS do not kill people in the Hausa/Fulani region because the officers and men in the police force therein are people from the region. But SARS members are killing people in Yorubaland because the officers are mostly Igbo and Hausa/Fulani. #EndSARSBrutality.”
Mr Shoyemi went further to threaten any Yoruba female who got involved with an Igbo man.
“Yoruba women must end all sexual and marital relationships with Igbo men. Any Yoruba lady seeing with an Igbo man in public places will be disgraced. The Igbo are using intermarriage to infiltrate the Yoruba leadership, populate Yorubaland with their children and then dominate us,” he tweeted on May 25, 2020.
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