Nigerian Blogger Emmanuel Ojo Sues Ogun Police Over Illegal Arrest, Recounts Ordeal

nigerian blogger sues police 150 million

Oct 28, 2015 – N150 Million Lawsuit: Nigerian Blogger Emmanuel Ojo Sues Ogun Police Over Illegal Arrest 

“I was arrested concerning a story that went viral online, which involved the First Lady of Ogun State. The accusation against me was that I maligned the image and personality of the governor’s wife,” said blogger Emmanuel Ojo in an interview published on October 18. He described his arrest by the police in Ogun State as “a frightening experience.”

In his words:

“At Eleweran, I was assaulted by some men. There was a man in mufti that I can only identify as ‘Philosopher’; he said: ‘Do you know who you are dealing with in this matter? May God deliver you!’ And to that I responded, ‘Amen.’ Then, the next thing I heard was ‘gbam!’ a swift and hard slap on my face that left me almost urinating in my pants. There and then, I knew I was in real trouble. But that was not the only time I was physically assaulted and treated like a criminal by the policemen.”

“With the first statement written at Ibara apparently discarded, I was asked to write another statement. This time, the police were dictating to me what I should write in the statement, which I stoutly refused to do. That drew their ire following which I was once again assaulted. There was a whole lot of intimidation going on while the police held me in detention for 72 hours without being allowed to see my lawyer or loved ones. I think all their attempts were geared at leading me to implicate myself. For three days, I was not able to eat. I feared for my life; I was afraid of being poisoned while in detention. I spent three days in detention without being charged to court.”

“The charge sheet presented to me stated governor’s wife as the complainant, curiously though it was the governor’s CSO who wrote a statement against me. I didn’t see the governor’s wife at the two police stations or the court I was taken to. I find the whole experience traumatic –not just for myself but also for my wife who is pregnant, my aged father and mother. I think the police only charged me to court following public outrage particularly from online media. They were forced to charge me to court because a lot of people spoke out against my continued detention. I was eventually charged to court and later granted bail.”

“I filed a case against the police suing in damages of N150m. The case has not been assigned to a judge yet. This case is about overzealous security officers who go out of the dictates of their responsibilities… This is actually what I want to prove; what the police had done was an infringement on my fundamental human rights.”

With this picture painted by Ojo in the background, it is worth recalling what Inspector General of Police Solomon Arase said after he became the country’s police chief on April 21. Arase was quoted as saying:

”I hope that one day we would see a complete change in the attitude of police officers across the service.” It is hoped that this is not a case of hoping against hope.