Blogger Arrested, Detained over Online Publication on Governor

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Mr. Olamilekan Hammed

Mr. Olamilekan Hammed, a blogger and publisher of EaglesForeSight, has been arrested by officials of Nigeria’s domestic intelligence agency, the Department of State Services (DSS), over a post on his blog detailing the alleged criminal records of Mr. Dapo Abiodun, the governor of the Ogun State. He remains in detention as he has not been charged in court.

Olamilekan, who was forced by the DSS to delete the publication from his website, was first arrested on April 29, six days after the publication, and released on bail. He was rearrested on May 13, 2022, and has been in detention ever since.

It is suspected that the DSS is tracking his communications as he was re-arrested after he made a WhatsApp post on his experience with the DSS.

The DSS, Ogun State accused Hammed of defamation of character and cybercrime, citing a publication made by Olamilekan on April 23, 2022. He was also accused of collecting money from the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to smear the image of the governor.

Narrating his ordeal, Olamilekan said: “The first charge they brought against me was that I quoted the PDP in the story on how he was arrested in the USA on money laundering charges. They forced me to pull it down, but despite pulling it down, they are still using it against me.

“The DSS arrested me at about 9:40am on April 29. I was coming out of Conference Hotel, Abeokuta, when I saw their Hilux. I recognised them but they handcuffed me immediately, masked me and took me away.

“I did not see anything until 6pm when they started interrogating me. From morning till 6pm, I was in handcuffs and a mask. During the interrogation, they asked who sponsored the story and I told them no one paid me to conjecture the story.

“They told me to bail myself and provide a surety. I did, and was released at night, sometime around 9:20pm.”