Nigerian journalist and social media personality, Kemi Olunloyo, the controversial daughter of former governor of Oyo State, Victor Omololu Olunloyo, who was arrested and detained in prison after she published an alleged defaming article against a Port Harcourt-based pastor, David Ibiyeomie, has spoken from her detention.
Kemi who is known for her social media verbal attacks and bullying of celebrities, politicians and even pastors, accused the chief registrar attached to the Port Harcourt Division of the Federal High Court of sitting on her case in order to keep her perpetually behind bars, despite having allegedly met her bail conditions.
However, the Deputy Chief Registrar, Maimunat Folami, strongly denied the allegations, stating that her office had cooperated fully with Ms. Omololu-Olunloyo’s counsel to ensure proper vetting of her bail documents.
She said; “We have done everything that we’re supposed to do. This allegation is very strange.”
While speaking exclusively to Premium Times inside Port Harcourt Prison, where she had been remanded since her initial arraignment in mid-March, Kemi Olunloyo stated that her lawyers had satisfied all bail requirements set by H.I.O. Shamah, a federal judge who granted her bail on April 11.
Kemi who spoke inside the office of the Comptroller of Prisons in Rivers State, Ifeanyi Amaliri, last week, said she had strong indications to believe the deputy chief registrar was sitting on her case on alleged orders of some powerful interests. But the court registrar said the accused’s bail paperwork was still being perfected by her lawyers, with whom she said she had been in constant touch with.
Ms. Folami said; “I have to do all the works of ensuring that all the documents are put in place. Even if the documents are put in place, we still have to conduct certain investigations, like verifying the addresses of the sureties to be sure they are who they say they are.”
She also said Kemi Olunloyo’s case file was taken away the last time her matter was heard on May 23. Although the judge was absent, the case file was not returned to her office, causing further delay in working out the final details of Ms. Olunloyo’s release.
Peter Nkanga, the West Africa representative of the U.S.-based Committee to Protect Journalists, condemned Ms. Omololu-Olunloyo’s continued incarceration for over 78 days and counting, despite all bail conditions met since May 11, including signing an undertaking not to jump bail.
“It is an outrage that the judiciary can be taking over three weeks and counting to verify Ms. Omololu-Olunloyo’s bail requirements, at the expense of her freedom,” Nkanga said
Fatai Lawal of Afe Babalola Chambers, which is representing Ms. Omololu-Olunloyo, declined to blame the registrar for the challenges faced in perfecting his client’s bail requirements. “We’re confident about her possible release this week,” he said.
Recall that team of police officers first arrested Ms. Omololu-Olunloyo in Ibadan on March 13. She was whisked to Port Harcourt where she was arraigned before a Chief Magistrate’s Court in Port-Harcourt. The case was later transferred to the Federal High Court.
Ms. Omololu-Olunloyo, however, spoke positively about the prison officials. “They have done an excellent job taking care of me and ensuring that I don’t starve and my health does not deteriorate,” she said.
Why I’m Still Detained Behind Bars – Controversial Journalist, Kemi Olunloyo Speaks from Prison was last modified: June 2nd, 2017 by Arinze Ago
Ago, Confidence Arinze is a scientist with an insatiable love for writing. The waters have crossed the bridge and here he is. He believes words are weapons and as such should be used wisely. Basically, he thinks through his fingers