Police Arrest Newspaper Editor Over Alleged Defamation


Dipo Awojobi, First Weekly Journal editor

The police in Lagos have arrested a newspaper editor following a petition alleging defamation of character, the journalist’s spouse and colleagues have instructed PREMIUM TIMES.

Dipo Awojobi of First Weekly Journal, an leisure tabloid publishing out of Lagos, was arrested at about 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, his spouse, Omolara, instructed PREMIUM TIMES.

Mr Awojobi was stated to have been moved to Abuja early Friday morning, in a transfer seen by his colleagues as the newest assault on media apply in Nigeria.

“Journalism will not be subdued in Nigeria,” stated journalist Malik Ibitoye, a former colleague of Mr Awojide’s who alerted PREMIUM TIMES on the event. “You would expect that the police will know by now that it is unethical and illegal to arrest a journalist over a civil issue that defamation is known to be across the world.”

The arrest was linked to an alleged corruption story about Olumide Aderinokun, an Ogun State politician and brother of the late Tayo Aderinokun of GTBank.

The publication on September 1 stated Mr Aderinokun had been underneath police investigation for financial institution fraud in extra of N90 million. The report additionally stated Mr Aderinokun, 48, had been beforehand arraigned for alleged land fraud in Lagos.

Mr Aderinokun, a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Occasion who ran unsuccessfully for the Home of Representatives on this 12 months’s normal election, subsequently drafted a petition to the police over the story, Mrs Awojobi instructed PREMIUM TIMES citing what she was instructed when her husband was arrested.

She condemned the style with which her husband was arrested as a result of it subjected the household to unspeakable trauma.

Mrs Awojobi stated she was at her store in Alimosho, Lagos, on Thursday afternoon when some males referred to as her to get tackle for a bundle to be delivered to her from God Is Good, a land-based logistics chain run by God Is Good Motors.

“I told them I was not expecting any delivery from anywhere, but they mentioned my name over and again and insisted that I was the one whose name was on the purported package,” Mrs Awojobi stated.

Mrs Awojobi stated after calling her husband to tell him in regards to the calls, she gave them her store tackle and the boys arrived shortly thereafter.

“It was when they arrived that they said a stolen car was registered in my husband’s name and they needed me to follow them to Area ‘F’ Command Headquarters in Ikeja,” Mrs Awojobi stated. “When we reached there, they detained me and asked me to call my husband who was in Lekki at the time to come to the station.”

As quickly as Mr Awojobi arrived, he was instructed a petition from Mr Aderinokun had been pending in opposition to him and subsequently arrested.

Mrs Awojobi stated she was then allowed to go dwelling. However at about 6:00 a.m. at present, she acquired a name from her husband that he was being moved to Abuja by a police crew.

Mrs Awojobi’s account of her husband’s arrest matched a rising sample of safety companies’ crackdown on media practitioners. A number of journalists and bloggers have been arrested after being lured by state brokers and sometimes on issues that border on defamation of character.

Although legal defamation has develop into largely outdated in different components of the world, it stays in federal and native statutes, a carryover from the colonial period.

In recent times, as on-line journalism turns into more and more mainstream, crackdown on practitioners has equally develop into widespread. Different safety and legislation enforcement companies, together with even the army, have been finishing up direct assaults on journalists.

A number of journalists remained in custody or making courtroom appearances over legal defamation instituted by authorities. In some circumstances, journalists have been charged with treason and terrorism for publishing articles whose topics deemed unfairly essential.

Mrs Awojobi referred to as on the police to instantly launch her husband and never enable Mr Aderinokun to make use of them to combat a private battle.

Lagos police commissioner, Zubairu Mu’Azu instructed PREMIUM TIMES he had not been instructed of Mr Awojobi’s arrest. Mr Aderinokun couldn’t be reached for remark Friday morning.

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