A freelance journalist has been put behind bars since May 6 on the orders of Minister of Information and Culture.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, ordered the arrest and detention of the journalist, Rotimi Jolayemi also known as Oba Akewi, over a WhatsApp audio the minister considers critical of him.
Confirming the arrest, Olu Olugbade, Chairman of Freelance and Independent Radio Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (FIBAN) said the journalist had recorded an eight-minute audio poem and released same via WhatsApp, criticising the minister.
Once the audio went viral, the journalist went into hiding. The police then picked up his wife and two brothers, John and Joseph who were all locked up for eight, nine and two days respectively. This forced him to turn himself in.
Seeking for justice, the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights has condemned his continuous illegal detention. It averred that it was against the tenets of freedom of expression of the journalist.
The group has therefore called for the immediate release of the journalist who has still not been charged with any offence at a court of law nor granted bail since May 6.
In responding to claims that the Minister of Information is the mastermind behind the arrest, the spokesman denied any involvement of his boss and called those making the allegations to channel their grievances to the proper quarters and leave the Minister alone to concentrate on his work.