The Nigeria Police Force has charged a journalist, Rotimi Jolayemi aka Oba Akewi, for causing hatred, insult and annoyance to Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Jolayemi was allegedly charged 17 days after his detention by the Federal Investigation Bureau of the Nigeria Police Force, Abuja.
The Herald had earlier in the week reported a statement by the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) accusing the police of illegally detaining the journalist for 12 days without charge.
According to the group, the police also contravened Section 7 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) by detaining wife of Mr. Jolayemi, Mrs . Dorcas Jolayemi, and two of his brothers who were kept in detention for eight days, nine days and two days respectively as hostages before the journalist turned himself in.
In the police charge sheet signed by the Prosecuting Counsel, Prosecution Section, Joseph Offor, the police said the journalist shared an audio file on a WhatsApp group on April 14, 2020 with the aim of acting causing ‘annoyance’ and ‘hatred’ for the minister.
The police said the act contravened Section 24 (1) (b) of the Cybercrimes Act 2015.
The charge sheet marked, FHC/ABJ/CB/104/2020, read, “That you, Jolayemi Oba Akewi, male, aged 43 years on or about the 14th day of April 2020 at Osolo Compound EKan Nla, Kwara State, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did send audio message through your android phone device to a group Whatsapp platform known as ‘Ekan Sons and Daughters’ and which went viral immediately after it was posted for the purpose of causing annoyance, insult, hatred and ill will to the current Hon. Minister of Information and Culture, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 24 (1) (b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015.”