Lawyer warns police against intimidation of Oyo journalist
An Ibadan-based legal practitioner, Ridwan Adekunle, on Tuesday, asked the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, to call his officers to order against any further intimidation and arrest of Ibadan-based broadcaster, Oriyomi Hamzat.
This warning comes at the heels of allegations of cyberbullying by the owner of Hilton Honors Hotel, Rahmon Adedoyin, against the broadcaster.
The PUNCH reports that Adedoyin was arrested and subsequently released for allegedly masterminding the killing of a student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State, Timothy Adegoke, last year.
Addressing newsmen in Ibadan, Adekunle declared that any further attempt to arrest, detain or harass Hamzat by the police is illegal, unconstitutional and against the provision of the court.
He said, “The owner of Agidigbo FM in Ibadan, Hamzat, was arrested by the Force Intelligence Bureau of the Nigeria Police Force and was taken to Abuja in May last year. He was arrested over his persistent call for justice in the murder case of Hamzat which was later released after spending some hours in detention.
“Hamzat has instituted a case against the IGP and six others over his unlawful detention and harassment by the police. The police have again invited Hamzat last week Friday, an indication that the police are making another attempt to unlawfully arrest, detain or harass my client.
“All the parties are required to maintain the status quo. Once a case is in the court, the parties must maintain the status quo. We hereby implore the IGP to call his officers not to arrest Hamzat. They should respect the rule of law. They should respect the court. They should stop intimidating him. They should stop further harassment and intimidation.
“We write as solicitors of Hamzat and it is in respect of the above subject matter that we write this letter. Suit No: M/496/2022 filed by our client was dismissed on January 19, 2023, on the ground that our client did not show any medical report and that there was no news of our client’s being dehumanised, arrested and detained on May 25, 2022, till May 26, 2022.
“This matter is already before the court. As such, the law is that all parties should maintain the status quo until the determination of the matter and any action is a slap in the face on due process of law and a flagrant abuse of the doctrine of lis-pendens.” He stated.
Earlier, the head of the station, Yusuf Adebayo, said the staff of the station were currently living in fear over the possible arrest of their boss, calling on well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the police to stop further arrests of the founder of the radio station.
“We called this press conference to avoid what happened last year. We, the staff, are now leaving in fear. We don’t want the police to arrest him. They want to arrest him over his call for justice but the case is still in court,” he explained.