Police crackdown on journalists protesting arrest of colleagues in Ilorin

OPERATIVES of the Kwara State Police Command on Friday clamped down on journalists protesting the detention of a colleague in the state.

The journalists staged a protest at the police headquarters over the detention of Dare Akogun, who works with Sobi FM, and his brother Abdulrasheed.

According to the Head of News and Current Affairs at Sobi FM Adebayo Abubakar, some of the protesting journalists were brutalised and detained by the police.

“Serious beating and tear-gassing of journalists staging a peaceful protest are ongoing at the police headquarters now. The protest is over the detention of Dare Akogun and Abdulrasheed Akogun, who are due to be charged to court this morning.

“I gathered that two journalists have been beaten up and dragged into the cell, after having been tear-gassed,” Abubakar told The ICIR.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Command Ajayi Okasanmi did not respond to messages sent by The ICIR concerning the issue.

The journalist, Dare Akogun, and his brother Rasheed were detained at the Kwara State Police Command headquarters in Ilorin on Thursday.

The detention came after a petition to the police by Rafiu Ajakaye, Chief Press Secretary (CPS), to the Kwara State governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

Abubakar told The ICIR that the petition was forwarded to the Commissioner of Police (CP) Tuesday Assayomo after an exchange of words between the CPS and the brothers.

The CP ordered the brothers to tender a written apology to Ajakaye or appear in court. Both brothers chose the latter option, after which the CP ordered their detention.



    Ajakaye, however, told The ICIR that there was no argument between him and the brothers and alleged that they had written defamatory content against him on a WhatsApp platform.

    He declined to share the defamatory content with The ICIR, stating that he had submitted it to the police and would be made available in court if necessary.

    But according to a statement by Agboola Moshood, Deputy Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, on October 6, Ajakaye said the WhatsApp posts accused him of misusing public funds.

    “In a petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police, the spokesman of the Governor said the duo committed the offence through their WhatsApp posts on September 30, 2022, in which they accused him of facilitating over N15 million of public funds to prosecute the last chairmanship election of the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ),” the statement said.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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