Police Detain Kwara-Based Journalists on Orders of State Government Officials

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Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq
Governor of Kwara State

Operatives of the Nigeria Police Force, Kwara State Command, on September 11, 2023 detained two online journalists, Mr. Abdulrazaq Aiyelabegan Babatunde, publisher of Just Events Online and Mr. Lukman Oluwatoyin Bolakale, publisher of Satcom Media on the orders of officials of the Kwara State Government.

The two journalists were detained at the Kwara State Police Command following a petition written against them by the immediate past Principal Private Secretary (PSS) to Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, Ms Monsurah Jumoke Gafar, who alleged defamation of character.

The journalists wrote the contentious story titled “Gov Abdulrazaq’s Camp Kicks Against Reappointment of Jumoke Gafar” from a press release signed by one Chief Rotimi Adebowale which they attributed in their story.

They were invited through a phone call by one Sikiru Adedayo of the Anti-Kidnapping and Cultism unit of the Kwara State Police Command, an invitation which they honoured within 2 hours of receiving the call.

They were questioned about the veracity and source of the report, which they availed the police. In spite of availing the police the source of the press statement including phone number and position of the source, who is a senior government official, the police went ahead to detain them.

The publishers spent ten days in detention before they were released by Magistrate Abdulganiyu Ajia when they appeared before him and their lawyer, Mr. Taofeek Olateju, applied for their bail.