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Blogger Arrested for Report on Ogun Government, Lawyer Slams Abiodun

The Department of State Services has reportedly arrested a blogger, Ahmed Olamilekan, for allegedly posting an article about Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun.

The report would relate to Abiodun’s alleged criminal record in the United States.

Olamilekan’s lawyer, Festus Ogun, said his client had been in custody since Friday after he honored an invitation from the Ogun State Secret Police Command.

He accused the governor of being behind his client’s arrest, adding that Abiodun had the right to challenge the publication in court instead of using the DSS to harass the journalist.

Abiodun had been involved in a battle with his political opponents, who had called for his disqualification following his alleged arrest in the United States for fraud and credit card forgery in 1986.

The governor, who is running for re-election under the ruling All Progressives Congress, had rejected the demands, saying they were not sufficient grounds for his disqualification.

But speaking to our correspondent on the phone on Monday, Ogun said he had just left the DSS office but had not been allowed to see his client.

He said: “Ahmed was asked for questioning by the Ogun State Command of the Department of State Services regarding a publication relating to the State Governor’s controversial criminal past. Subsequently , he was forced against his will to remove the story from his news blog.

“On Friday last week he was invited again and because my client had nothing to hide he again honored his invitation. Since then he has been held incommunicado. He has not been allowed to see his family or his lawyer and he has been detained beyond the time allowed by law.At present, he is arbitrarily tortured, intimidated and deprived of his fundamental rights to liberty guaranteed by article 35 of the constitution.

“I have just left the command of the Ogun State 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, depending on the case.

“Again, I became very concerned as to why the governor would cause the arrest, because in the very first place, when a journalist files a report that worries the governor, he has the right under the law to go to court for redress. But the governor didn’t. I don’t think journalism is a crime in this country; why should a journalist be treated in such a despicable way?

DSS spokesman Peter Afunanya denied that the journalist was being held by the agency.

“Let the lawyer tell you the truth,” he added.

Ogun then called our correspondent to say that the reporter had been transferred to police command headquarters.

State Information Commissioner Mr Waheed Odusule said he could not say the reason for the arrest.

Efforts to reach Ogun State Police Public Relations Officer Oyeyemi Abimbola for comment were unsuccessful.

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