Journalist remanded for criticising Lai Mohammed

Rotimi Jolayemi, also known as Oba Akewi, who was arrested for his Yoruba poetic song critical of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has been remanded by the order of a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Justice Anwuli Chikere ordered Jolayemi’s remand after he was arraigned on six counts including alleged spreading of an audio file said to have caused annoyance, ill will, hatred, and insults towards the minister.

The judge ordered the defendant to be remanded in the Nigeria Police Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department headquarters, in Abuja, pending the hearing of his bail application.

The arraignment took place after the prosecuting counsel, Joseph Offor, announced an amendment to the charges marked FHC/ABJ/CB/104/2020 on Thursday.

As part of the amendment, the prosecution sought to add to its list of witnesses.

Jolayemi’s lawyer, Soji Toki, did not oppose the request for amendment.

Jolayemi, who complained of ill health, pleaded not guilty to amended charges of six counts.

Case has been adjourned till June 16.

Jolayemi, who anchors a Yoruba radio programme, ‘Bi aye se ri’ on Osun State Broadcasting Service and Radio Kwara, was on May 5, 2020, arrested by the police for reciting a poem which was critical of the minister.

The act was alleged to be in contravention of Section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrimes Act 2015.

Jolayemi, the Vice-Chairman, Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria, Osun State Chapter, was subsequently brought to Abuja where he has remained since May 7.

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