Festus Ogun, the lawyer to the blogger allegedly arrested for a report on the Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has on Tuesday, insisted that Olamilekan Hammed’s arrest was connected to the governor.
The PUNCH had reported that the Department of State Services had reportedly arrested Ahmed for allegedly publishing a story said to be on Abiodun’s alleged criminal records in the United States.
The governor, who is running for re-election under the ruling All Progressives Congress, had, however, dismissed the claims, saying they were not sufficient grounds for his disqualification.
In a statement, the lawyer said his client was being held in contravention of the law, calling on the Ogun State Commissioner of Police to immediately release Ahmed.
Ogun said, “we can authoritatively confirm that Prince Olamilekan Hammed (Labash), the courageous blogger arrested for exposing the dirty criminal records of Governor Abiodun in the US has been transferred to the Ogun State Police Command by the State Security Service.
“I met with him in high spirit yesterday and he further confirmed that the sole reason for his arrest was about the reports he made in respect of the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun. He was forced to delete the publication and five days after his irrational arrest, he is still being kept in grave contravention of the law.
“Sections 34, 35, and 39 of the 1999 Constitution are clear that journalism is not a crime that could warrant an arrest and that the continuous detention of Hammed beyond 24 hours is a naked violation of his sacred fundamental rights.
“Dapo Abiodun, who instigated the malicious arrest, is solely responsible for the detention, brutal torture, and intimidation of Mr. Hammed. Deploying the instruments of the state to oppress a citizen-journalist merely doing his job is fascism taken too far. He should approach a civil court if he feels defamed.
“We call on the Commissioner of Police in Ogun State and the SSS to immediately release Mr. Hammed or charge him to court, should they have any case against him. We equally call on all activists, civil society organisations, the press, and all patriots to join us in our struggle for the freedom of blogger Labash.”
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