Editor Arrested and Detained over Alleged Defamatory Publication

Dipo Awojobi, Editor, First Weekly Magazine
Dipo Awojobi, Editor, First Weekly Magazine

On November 7, 2019, Mr. Dipo Awojobi, editor of First Weekly Magazine, an entertainment tabloid based in Lagos, was arrested by security operatives following a petition by a politician alleging defamation of character.

The arrest was linked petition filed by Mr. Olumide Aderinokun, a politician in Ogun State who alleged defamation in a story that linked him with corruption. Published on September 1, the story alleged that Olumide had been under police investigation for bank fraud involving over N90 million and that he had been previously arraigned for alleged land fraud in Lagos.

Mr Aderinokun is a member of Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). He ran for the House of Representatives in this year’s general elections but was not elected.

Narrating how he was arrested, Dipo’s wife, Mrs. Omolara Awojobi, said the security operatives deceived her into giving them her business address after they informed her they were personnel of a local courier company, ‘God is Good’ and that they needed to deliver a parcel to her. She disclosed that after calling her husband to inform him about the calls, she gave them her shop address and the men arrived shortly thereafter.

According to Mrs. Awojobi, “It was when they arrived that they said a stolen car was registered in my husband’s name and they needed me to follow them to Area ‘F’ Command Headquarters in Ikeja.

When we reached there, they detained me and asked me to call my husband who was in Lekki at the time to come to the station.”

Dipo was arrested as soon as he arrived the station and told a petition from Olumide had been pending against him. On November 8, he was moved to Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.