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Friday, 2 June 2017

Detained blogger, Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo speaks from prison, accuses court registrar of stalling her release

Former Oyo state governor’s daughter, Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo has 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. .

The blogger spoke from inside Port Harcourt Prison where she has been remanded since her initial arraignment in mid-March for alleged criminal defamation against a Port-Harcourt-based preacher, David Ibiyeomie. .




Speaking with Premium Times inside the office of the Comptroller of Prisons in Rivers State, Ifeanyi Amaliri, last week, Ms. Omololu-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. .

She 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 Deputy Chief Registrar, Maimunat Folami, denied the allegations, stating that her office had cooperated fully with Omololu-Olunloyo’s counsel to ensure proper vetting of her bail documents.

“We have done everything that we’re supposed to do.

“This allegation is very strange,” she said according to Sahara Reporters.

“I have to do all the works of ensuring that all the documents are put in place,” Folami said. “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.

Ms. Folami also said Ms. Omololu-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 her 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.

“It is an outrage that the judiciary can be taking over three weeks and counting to verify her bail requirements, at the expense of her freedom,” he said.

Fatai Lawal of Afe Babalola Chambers, which is representing Ms. Omololu-Olunloyo, said they're confident about her possible release this week.




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