The Department of State Services (DSS) has detained a blogger named Ahmed Olamilekan for a report he wrote regarding Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun.
There have been calls for Governor Abiodun to be prohibited from running for governor in 2023 due to his reported incarceration in the United States of America in 1986 over credit card fraud and forgery. He has, however, disputed the allegations, claiming that they are insufficient to disqualify him.
Ahmed’s lawyer, Festus Ogun, informed Punch that he has been detained since Friday, May 13, after accepting an invitation from the secret police’s Ogun State headquarters.
Governor Abiodun was accused of inciting his client’s detention by Ogun, who argued that the governor of Ogun state had the right to contest the publishing in court rather than utilizing the DSS to harass the reporter.
On Monday, May 16, the blogger’s lawyer alleged that the DSS had denied him access to his client. He said;
“The Ogun State headquarters of the Department of State Services summoned Ahmed for questioning over a publication linked to the state governor’s questionable criminal record. He was then forced to remove the story from his news blog against his will.”
“On Friday, last week, he was invited again and because my client had nothing to hide, he again honoured 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 very worried 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 spokesman Peter Afunanya denied the blogger was being held by the secret police.
“Let the lawyer tell you the truth.”
The journalist had been transferred to the police command headquarters, Ogun later told media.
Mr Waheed Odusule, the state Commissioner for Information, said he could not explain the reason for such arrest.