Mrs. Dorcas Jolayemi, the wife of a journalist detained for allegedly insulting Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has recounted how she was detained for eight days over the matter.
Mr. Rotimi Jolayemi has been in police custody since the beginning of the month, with the police charging him for causing “hatred”, “insult” and “annoyance” to the minister.
While the police said the journalist shared a WhatsApp message insulting the minister, a rights group, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) said he merely recited a poem considered critical of Mohammed on the radio.
Mrs Jolayemi stated that she was called a “stupid woman” by a senior policeman after she was arrested over the matter and detained.
According to her, she was hospitalised for one week after regaining her freedom due to malaria as the police made her sleep on the corridors of a toilet where mosquitoes battered her.
She also said she did not have access to her lawyer nor her relations during her detention.
“On April 29, 2020 policemen came to my house in Ilorin, Kwara State, but I was not at home. I had gone to visit my brother-in-law. I was told that when they realised I was not at home, they came to my brother-in-law’s house in a Hilux van. They were about four policemen altogether. They said they had come to arrest me and I stood up. They kept asking me where my phone was and I told them it was with my son.
“They said I must follow them to their station with my phone. Eventually, I got the phone and we left. On getting to the State Criminal Investigation Department, they began to interrogate me. They asked why I obstructed the arrest of my husband. I asked them what they meant by that.
“They asked me when last I spoke with my husband and I told them I spoke with him in the morning. They said they wanted to arrest my husband and he fled to Maro in Kwara State. They said I was the one who advised him to run away and switch off his phone. They played a recording of my phone conversation with my husband.
“Apparently, they had bugged my phone and that of my husband. I admitted that, indeed, I told my husband to run away, but it wasn’t a crime because I didn’t harbour him. I only asked him not to come home, which is what a typical wife would do. I heard the police wanted to arrest him and I didn’t know the reason why they wanted to arrest him. I told him to run away because I wanted him to be safe. They said for that, I would pay for it. I was brought before their boss and the man insulted me, calling me a stupid woman. He said I shouldn’t have advised my husband to run away. The man said I would pay for it and they took my statement. I was there from April 29 to May 6,” Mrs Jolayemi told The Punch.