After arresting and detaining a journalist, Rotimi Jolayemi, also known as Oba Akewi for weeks, the Nigeria Police finally arraigned him before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for annoying a serving government Minister in charge of Information.
Jolayemi was arrested on May 6 over a poem, which was considered critical of Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
While police was looking for him for arrest the Minister reportedly ordered that his wife be arrested which was carried out. She was detained for six days, alongside two of the media practitioner’s brothers, John and Joseph, who were all locked up for days.
On May 22, 2020, Police filed a one-count charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/104/2020 against the journalist on May 22, 16 days after he was detained. The offence, according to the police, was contrary to section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015.
The charge sheet reads, “That you Jolayemi Oba Akewi ‘m’ aged 43 years on or around the 14th day of April, 2020 at Osola compound Ekan nka, Kwara State within the jurisdiction of this honorable Court did send an 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 Culture, thereby committed an offence contrary to section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015.”