A blogger, Ahmed Olamilekan has been arrested by the Department of State Services over a report he published about Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun state.
There have been calls for Governor Abiodun to be disqualified from contesting in the 2023 governorship election over his alleged arrest in the US for a credit card fraud and forgery in 1986. He has, however, dismissed the claims, saying they are not sufficient for his disqualification.
Ahmed’s lawyer, Festus Ogun, told Punch that he has been in detention since Friday, May 13, after he honored an invitation by the Ogun State Command of the secret police.
Ogun, who accused Governor Abiodun of instigating his client’s arrest, stated that the Ogun state Governor had the right to challenge the publication in court instead of using the DSS to harass the reporter.
Speaking on Monday, May 16, the blogger’s lawyer claimed he was not allowed to see his client by the DSS. He said;
“Ahmed was invited for questioning by the Ogun State Command of the Department of State Services over a publication relating to the controversial criminal past of the state governor. After that, he was forced against his will to pull down the story from his news blog.
“On Friday, last week, he was invited again, and because my client had nothing to hide, he again honored their invitation. Since then, he has been held incommunicado. He has not been granted access to his family or lawyer, and he has been detained beyond the time contemplated by law. Currently, he is being arbitrarily tortured, intimidated, and denied his fundamental rights to liberty guaranteed under Section 35 of the constitution.
“I am just leaving the Ogun State Command of the security service; they did not allow me, his legal representative, to have access to him. The law is clear: you cannot detain a suspect beyond 24 or 48 hours, as the case may be.
“Again, I became perturbed why the governor would instigate the arrest because in the very first place, when a journalist files a report that the governor feels worried about, he is entitled by law to approach the court for redress. But the governor didn’t do so. I do not think journalism is a crime in this country; why should a journalist be treated in such a despicable manner?”
However, DSS Spokesperson Peter Afunanya denied that the blogger was in the secret police’s custody.
“Let the lawyer be truthful to you.”
Ogun later told the publication that the journalist had been transferred to the police command headquarters.
The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Waheed Odusule, on his part, said he could not tell the reason for the arrest.