Journalist Detained, Charged with Violating Cybercrimes Act for Criticising Information Minister

Mr. Rotimi Jolayemi
Mr. Rotimi Jolayemi

Kwara State-based radio personality, Mr. RotimiJolayemi, aka Oba Akewi, was on May 22, 2020, charged before a Federal High Court in Abuja with causing annoyance, insult, hatred and ill-will to the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, an offence under the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act, 2015, for allegedly posting an audio message to a WhatsApp group through his Android mobile phone. Mr. Jolayemi was charged with the offence after being detained for 17 days by the Kwara State Criminal Investigations Department. He is reported to have been arrested after he turned himself in following the arrest of his wife, Mrs. Dorcas Jolayemi, and two of his brothers who were arrested in his stead and detained for several days as hostages, while Mr. olayemi was being sought.

Rotimi’s arrest was allegedly on the orders of Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed after he recited a poem on radio considered to be critical of the Minister.

Mrs.DorcasJolayemi, Rotimi’s wife disclosed that she was arrested on April 29, 2020 by the Police in Ilorin, Kwara State and detained for eight days. Two of Rotimi’s brothers: Joseph and John Jolayemi were also arrested and detained for nine and two days respectively as hostages until Rotimi turned himself in when they were all released.

Rotimi is the Vice-Chairman, Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria, Osun State chapter.