The Nigeria police have charged a controversial blogger, Kemi Olunloyo, with cyber crime on account of a recent post in which she accused David Ibiyeomie, a pastor based in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, of adultery.
In an Instagram post, she made last Tuesday, Ms. Olunloyo disclosed that the police arrested her in Port Harcourt and detained her after the pastor complained that she defamed his character in a recent post. Ms. Olunloyo, a daughter of former Governor Victor Omololu Olunloyo of Oyo State, had posted a letter written by a member of Mr. Ibiyeomie’s church in which the pastor was accused of a series of misconduct, including infidelities.
SaharaReporters also learned that a reporter from Rivers State was also charged alongside Ms. Olunloyo.
The blogger will remain in detention until March 23, 2017, when she is scheduled to appear in court for a bail hearing.
In an online post on Thursday, the bloggers stated that police officers arrived at her home in Ibadan to arrest her. She stated that the officers took her to the Oyo State Criminal Investigative Department (CID) before they drove her to Port Harcourt.In the last few months, there has been a spike in the arrests of journalists, bloggers, and activists by the Nigerian police, often at the behest of powerful individuals or interests. Earlier this week, Chocolate City Entertainment boss, Audu Maikori, was arrested again and taken to Abuja over tweets he posted regarding grave attacks on his relatives in Southern Kaduna. Mr. Maikori is being charged with attempting to “incite” violence.
A few weeks ago, the police stormed the Abuja offices of Premium Times, an online newspaper, and briefly detained two of its editors and reporters. The publisher of Saharareporters, Omoyele Sowore, was also harassed by the police in Lagos on the basis of a complaint about a report published on his website.
International media watch organizations, including the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, have voiced concern over an apparent systematic assault on free press and freedom of expression in Nigeria.