Mrs Dorcas Jolayemi, the wife of a journalist detained for criticising Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, recounts her eight-day ordeal in the custody of the Kwara State Police Command
A human rights organisation claimed you spent eight days in police detention because of your husband’s poem, which was critical of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed.
Can you narrate the events that led to your arrest?
On April 29, 2020 policemen came to my house in Ilorin, Kwara State, but I was not at home. I had gone to visit my brother-in-law. I was told that when they realised I was not at home, they came to my brother-in-law’s house in a Hilux van.
They were about four policemen altogether. They said they had come to arrest me and I stood up. They kept asking me where my phone was and I told them it was with my son.
They said I must follow them to their station with my phone. Eventually, I got the phone and we left. On getting to the State Criminal Investigation Department, they began to interrogate me. They asked why I obstructed the arrest of my husband. I asked them what they meant by that.
They asked me when last I spoke with my husband and I told them I spoke with him in the morning. They said they wanted to arrest my husband and he fled to Maro in Kwara State. They said I was the one who advised him to run away and switch off his phone. They played a recording of my phone conversation with my husband.
Apparently, they had bugged my phone and that of my husband. I admitted that, indeed, I told my husband to run away, but it wasn’t a crime because I didn’t harbour him. I only asked him not to come home, which is what a typical wife would do... They said for that, I would pay for it.
I was brought before their boss and the man insulted me, calling me a stupid woman. He said I shouldn’t have advised my husband to run away. The man said I would pay for it... I was there from April 29 to May 6.
When my husband finally presented himself a week later, we were released...