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18.07.2022 Featured Abeokuta-Based Blogger Languishing in Jail ‘on Dapo Abiodun’s Orders’

Published 18th Jul, 2022

By Daniel Ojukwu

The State Security Service (SSS), Ogun State, has taken Bashiru Hammed, a blogger and publisher of EaglesForeSight, to court for a report on Dapo Abiodun, the state governor.

Documents made available to FIJ reveal the SSS is accusing Hammed of defamation of character and cybercrime, citing a publication made by the blogger on April 27, 2022. The publication was titled ‘2023; I Was Arrested (convicted) for Fraud in US, But APC Lacks Power to Disqualify Me — Governor Abiodun Bragged’.

FIJ understands Hammed was forced by the DSS to delete the publication from his website.

He was first arrested on April 29, two days after the publication, and released on bail. He was rearrested on May 13, 2022, and has been in detention ever since.

Olamilekan Hammed
Olamilekan Hammed

FIJ understands Hammed was accused of collecting money from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a major opposition party in the state, and taken by the SSS to Ibara Correctional Facility on April 29.

“The first charge they brought against me was that I quoted the PDP in the story on how he was arrested in the USA on money laundering charges. They forced me to pull it down, but despite pulling it down, they are still using it against me,” he told FIJ.

READ MORE: Lawyer: SSS Detaining Blogger ‘for Exposing Criminal Activities of Dapo Abiodun in the US’

“The DSS arrested me at about 9:40 am on April 29. I was coming out of Conference Hotel, Abeokuta, when I saw their Hilux. I recognised them but they handcuffed me immediately, masked me and took me away.

“I did not see anything until 6 pm when they started interrogating me. From morning till 6 pm, I was in handcuffs and a mask. During the interrogation, they asked who sponsored the story and I told them no one paid me to conjecture the story.

“They told me to bail myself and provide a surety. I did, and was released at night, sometime around 9:20 pm.”

READ ALSO: Protest in Sagamu Over Dapo Abiodun’s ‘Imposition of Reps Candidate on APC Delegates’

Hammed went home that night and things seemingly went back to normal. But a week after, he made a WhatsApp post on his experience with the secret service, not knowing they had succeeded in infiltrating his phone and had been monitoring. They arrested him again.

Someone who saw the status told FIJ it was along the lines of: “My ordeal in the hands of government last week: I met myself in the lions’ den. I was silenced, but maybe one day I will be able to say my mind out.”

After the second invitation, Hammed was handcuffed and detained, before he was later arraigned before a judge at the Federal High Court, Abeokuta, where he is to appear on Tuesday.

FIJ made several calls to Kunle Somorin, Dapo Abiodun’s chief press secretary, for comments, but he did not respond to them. A WhatsApp message sent to his number had also not been responded to at press time.

Published 18th Jul, 2022

By Daniel Ojukwu

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