On December 10, 2018, Mr. Olarenwaju Lawal, the Kebbi State correspondent of The Sun newspaper was arrested, hurriedly arraigned in court, and charged with publishing false information, without a defence lawyer, he was remanded in prison custody, apparently on the orders of the State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu.
Reports have it that on the instructions of the Kebbi State government, the police arrested Olanrewaju over an online publication alleging the abduction of a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stalwart in the state which infuriated some government officials and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The state authorities are said to have contacted the Acting state Commissioner of Police, who ordered Olarenwaju’s arrest while he was on an official assignment.
The police also accused the correspondent of publishing a false report, adding that he neither spoke to its spokesperson, Danjuma Poss, nor any police officer over the alleged kidnap before going to press.
The police interrogated Olanrewaju about the story and subsequently arraigned him before a Magistrate’s Court in Birnin-Kebbi, where he was charged with publishing false information. The journalist pleaded not guilty to the charge but was all the same remanded in prison till December 24.
Both the police and the Kebbi State government have frustrated efforts to get him release on bail.