Popular blogger Kemi Olunloyo in a big mess
Kemi Olunloyo, a controversial social media personality and blogger, has been charged with “cyber crime” for accusing Pastor David Ibiyeomie of adultery in a post published on her blog.
In an Instagram post, the 52-year-old Ms. Olunloyo said the Police arrested her in Port-Harcourt and detained her after the pastor complained that she defamed his character in her 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.
A reporter in Daily Post, who published Olunloyo’s account was also charged along with her. Her bail hearing comes up on March 23, 2017.
In an online post last Thursday, the blogger 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 ferried her to Port-Harcourt.
Olunloyo is the sixth blogger who would be arrested and detained under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Recall that Emenike Iroegbu a blogger was arrested on the orders of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State. Mr. Iroegbu who publishes Abia Facts Newspaper was accused of defaming Mr. Ikpeazu. He allegedly published a story accusing the governor of burying a 9-year-old boy in the government House, Umuahia.
Similarly, in September 2015, Emmanuel Ojo a Nigerian blogger based in Ogun State was arrested by the Police for accusing the wife of the state governor, Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun of allegedly laundering $300,000 in London.
Also another blogger, Abubakar Usman, who publishes abusidiqu.com was arrested and detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, who accused him of “cyber stalking”. He was released after much public outrage.
In August 2015, a blogger, Musa Babale Azare was arrested by policemen in Abuja, allegedly for criticising Bauchi state governor, Muhammad Abdullahi Abubakar.
Publisher of Premium Times, Dapo Olorunyomi was arrested in January 2017 alongside his colleague Evelyn Okakwu on trumped up charges of defamation against the Nigerian Army.
In another development, Nigerian entertainment mogul Audu Maikori was arrested twice on the orders of Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai and later charged to court for “conspiracy to incite violence” over a Facebook post on the Southern Kaduna killings.
Critics of the Buhari administration say this gale of arrests is part of a sinister ploy to demonise and silent public dissent against a non-performing administration.
Supporters of President Buhari argue that most of these arrests were not ordered by the Buhari Presidency.
Nonetheless, Buhari’s regime as a military head of state recalls a dark brutal era when journalists were brutalised and detained without charge, fuelling concerns about the recent spate of crackdowns on free speech. His Decree No. 4 of 1984 was the most draconian and most repressive law against freedom of the press ever enacted in Nigeria.