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Monday, 27 March 2017

Kemi Olunloyo’s defamation case - Nigeria’s conspicuous hatred for journalists/press.


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I’ll begin with the first fact behind this whole saga of Madam Kemi Olunloyo’s quick arrest and hampered release which is; from all indications, Nigeria as a country, its system, format and structure hates journalists. Nigeria hates the press. And that fact
guides through to the other realities itching the country. Realities like public officials stealing and laundering funds and no one would stand up to ask what’s going on, makes findings and address the public with his or her findings. Realities like teachers and civil servants being owed for months and their money being used to buy luxuries and businesses abroad by corrupt, greedy governors and no one will hear about it. Realities like students not getting adequate education and being humiliated and abused by their own teachers and lecturers simultaneously while the public, parents and wards of these student are ignorant of the on-going because no one stands up to make inquires and write about it. Realities like forwarding millions of Naira to sponsor positively inconsequential programs like #BBNaija while talented young Nigerians while away on the street and no one stands up to write and push against it. Realities like hungry children on the street, jobless graduates, infrastructural downfall, unending blackout that no one asks strong “whys” about. No one would because if anyone dares, they land in prison just like Kemi. These are facts you as a Nigerian must ignore and live with or  chose the other way around if you so wish and can. 
The level at which Nigerian government trample on journalists raises a question as to the authenticity of its democracy. Journalists don’t have rights. Rights like being sued when their is a conventional understanding of their wrong doing. But instead, they are picked up like street fowls by AK47 holders and locked up without the application of the rule of law, sending a very brutal message to the rest of them who may want to offer something of ease to the realities on ground in the country. Having been able to force under their control, our media top share holders and manipulating them to write and publish atomistic junks that suits their selfish desires, they are now after individual bloggers. I want to ask a question;- why would Nigerian government use their police force to arrested and look up a blogger who posted something she feels the public should know about, after she had requested for comments from the subjects but didn't get it? Why?  Who are you protecting; the multi million dollar pastor or the blogger working herself out to keep her society informed? Honestly, the act of arresting Kemi Olunloyo in its self is defaming to Nigeria as a country. That’s One thing they don’t know. In other top countries of the world, press, journalists and bloggers are respected to the core. They are viewed as embodiment of accountability. But that is not the case in Nigeria. In Nigeria, they are enemies to those who claim to be righteous.   Where a pastor cannot stand up to clear his name claiming to be a man of God, he chose to defame the so called God he is serving trying glorify his own name. In a statement by Peter Nkanga, it has been confirmed that the Instagram post that was published on Olunloyo’s handle and on Samuel Welson’s daily regional tabloid about Ebiyomie had already been withdrawn from further public circulation but for the fact they are dealing with a country that do not recognize the importance of investigative journalism, their release has been a joke to those in charge. 
One might be wondering; where does all this lead? It leads to Nigeria’s inability as a democratic entity to uphold its value of freedom of expression and rights. 
Kemi’s post concerning the so called pastor is a case of “Allegation of Defamation” not a criminal case.  For one thing, if Kemi is found guilty, she should be fined and not imprisoned. There is absolutely no ground for the woman’s arrest if not that possibly, she might have written about one of those in charge of her arrest now. Nothing more, nothing less. 
If only Nigerians can think, they should stand up against the oppression of the press and free speech. Using the bullet points bellow, in what condition should Kemi be locked up until now?
- She posted a letter claiming that there was a relationship between Ebiyomie and Iyabo. 
- She requested for the duo’s comment but didn’t get it which she also indicated. 
- She has not been invited by the police or sued before now on this case but failed to appear
- Her charge is defamation or cyber crime which is not physical and not criminality, terrorism or fraud. 
- The said post by her has been removed by the same her. 
- There was no indication that Kemi tried to run away. 
Tell me well thinking Nigerians – why should she be locked up until now?  There is no other answer to that question if not that they are trying to bend and instill not only in her, but the nation’s press and bloggers alike fear, and immobilize them. That’s all. Defamation allegation is a civil matter and should not be handled as a criminal offence - detaining the voice and eye of the people in prison is a good move to kill courage in the heart of journalism in Nigeria. 
The executive arm of government canvasing change if at all they care, should look into this case, vindicate Kemi and remove Idris from that sit. Let the woman go Idris – she isn’t the Abubakar Shekau you and cohorts couldn’t arrest for years now. She is a blogger and should be served with a letter to come out and depend what so ever she may have posted wrong. Not harassed with AK47  assault rifle. 
#Release Kemi Olunloyo. #Release The Press. Enough is the subtle colonization. 

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