Police detain journalist, brother over Kwara governor spokesperson’s petition

THE Kwara State Police Command detained a journalist, Dare Akogun, and his brother Rasheed, on Thursday.

The detention came after a petition to the Commissioner of Police Tuesday Assayomo by Rafiu Ajakaye, who is the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to the Kwara state governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

According to the Head of News and Current Affairs, Sobi FM, Adebayo Abubakar, Dare’s colleague, the petition resulted from an altercation between both brothers and the CPS.

“There was an exchange of words between Dare, and Rasheed on the one hand, and the CPS to the Governor of Kwara State, on the other.

“On account of what was said, the CPS claimed he has been defamed and wrote a petition to the Commissioner of Police, who, after taking their statement, said he was giving them two options of either apologising (written) or they charge them to court,” Abubakar explained.

He told The ICIR that both brothers had chosen to go to court rather than tender an apology to the CPS, prompting the CP to order their detention.

“The CP orders them to be detained, perhaps, till tomorrow, when they would be charged to court,” Abubakar added.

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

“As a citizen, I sought refuge with the law by duly petitioning the police, who I’m aware are now investigating the case. The police have since taken my statement, and I keep my faith that the law will judge between us and help us to draw the line between free speech, sheer blackmail and willful defamation.

“If they are being detained, as you have mentioned, this possibly happened a few hours today as I am on an assignment in Offa (as I write this). I firmly believe that the police are professional enough to know the boundaries of our laws.

“I trust them to keep the law in their relationship with every member of the public, including the accused and myself, who has had to deal with the trauma of being unfairly lied against on a public platform,” Ajakaiye noted.

However, 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.




     

     

    “It may not be fair to the police to do that since I have taken my case to them,” he said.

    Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Command Ajayi Okasanmi had not responded to a text message on the issue at the time of filing this report.

    Meanwhile,  according to a statement by the Deputy Chief Press Secretary to Governor Agbola Moshood 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 N15m of public funds to prosecute the last chairmanship election of the state council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ),” the statement read.

     

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

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