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Amnesty condemns detention of journalist for criticising Minister Lai, calls for his release

Amnesty International has described as unlawful the arrest and detention of a journalist for criticising the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.

The rights group has, therefore, urged the Nigeria Police to without any further delay release the broadcast journalist, Rotimi Jolayemi.

The journalist, who anchors a Yoruba radio programme, ‘Bi aye se ri’, on Osun State Broadcasting Service and Radio Kwara, has spent three weeks in custody.

He was arrested on May 5, 2020, after he recited a poem said to be critical of the minister.

The police had first arrested Jolayemi’s wife, Dorcas, and his two brothers. They only freed them after the journalist turned himself in.

READ ALSO: Nigerian military subjecting children to unlawful detention -Amnesty Int’l

After Jolayemi, turned himself in, he was later taken to Abuja, where he had been kept in the police custody.

In a post on its Twitter handle, @AmnestyNigeria, the right group said:

“Jolayemi, a journalist was unlawfully arrested on May 6, 2020, over a poem considered critical of the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed.

“His wife too was unlawfully detained for eight days in squalid condition. We are calling on authorities to immediately release him.”

Jolayemi is the Vice-Chairman, Osun State chapter of Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria.

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