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Association Condemns Lai Mohammed Over Arrest of Journalist and Wife

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Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria has condemned the arbitrary arrest and unjust detention of a journalist, Rotimi Jolayemi, also known as Oba Akewi on the orders of the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, over a poem read during a radio programme which the minister considers critical of him.

The rights group also condemned the police commissioner in Kwara state for being used to carry out the illegal arrest.

The group stated that the unlawful detention of two brothers and the wife of the journalists in place of the journalist amounted to armed kidnapping which should be treated as such.

It said both the minister of Information and the police commissioner who authorised the abduction of the duo should be arrested and prosecuted for alleged armed kidnapping and punished by the competent Court of law.

HURIWA, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to take immediate action to stem the rising tide of horrendous violations of the freedom of expression and information and to stop the rapidly shrinking democratic spaces for the media to practise their profession.

The group held that media should be able to operate without t or intimidation in line with Section 22 of the Nigerian constitution which mandates the media to monitor the operations of all governmental and non-governmental systems in the country .

The group said it would petition the governments of the United States of America; United Kingdom; Australia, Canada and Germany to pray for the travel ban to be imposed on Alhaji Lai Mohammed.

The group asked Mohammed to resign immediately or be blacklisted by Nigerian media.

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