Family of detained UK-based Nigerian blogger seeks justice

Adeyinka

The family of a blogger, Miss Dorcas Adeyinka, who was reportedly arrested on Wednesday for alleged cyberbullying and cyberstalking, has accused the Lagos State Police Command of carrying out a lopsided and biased probe.

They told PUNCH Metro that Adeyinka had been subjected to various threats to life, cyberstalking, and bullying by some suspected Nigerian bloggers who use different social media accounts to name-call and shame her.

PUNCH Metro reports that a bill seeking “to mandate Internet service providers to block access to materials depicting violent conduct, regulate illegal or restricted content irrespective of the host, and remove intimating images and videos shared online that negatively impact children,” passed the second reading at the House of Representatives last Thursday.

However, the family appealed to the force not to take sides in the matter as they alleged that the same persons suspected to be responsible for the blogger’s ordeals on social media were the same people suspected to be allegedly using the police to finish the blackmailing job they could not finish online.

The mother of the blogger, Mrs Yinka Badmus, said in a telephone interview with PUNCH Metro on Sunday, “My daughter was never invited by the police for any crime before she was detained. She went to the police station to file a complaint about a traffic issue when some people allegedly walked into the station with other policemen who wanted to arrest her.

“These are the same people who had been bullying my daughter on Facebook and other social media. Nobody invited my daughter to the police station. She went to the police station to complain about a lady who smashed her car. We were shocked when they started saying that some people accused my daughter of insulting the President and Inspector General of Police.”

Corroborating Badmus’ claim, the blogger’s cousin, Toyin Adeyinka, alleged that some other bloggers were trying to use the police to force her cousin to silence for standing up for the truth.

She said, “She has been a victim of cyberbullying and stalking for a long time by some Nigerian bloggers. Her nudity was even shared on social media at some point, which the UK police investigated.

“One person is still in the UK prison. There is a gang-up against Adeyinka. They are using the Nigeria Police to harass her. Our family was bullied on social media. These bloggers chose to use the Nigeria Police because Adeyinka stood up against their threats and bullies.

“These people were even bragging on social media that they had the Nigeria Police in their pockets. She had been called several names on social media. Adeyinka has been living in the UK since age three.

“While she was writing a statement at the station, some of these people recorded her, snapped her name where it was pasted at the station, and started sharing it on social media to snide her. This is a conspiracy to punish Dorcas (Adeyinka) for blogging the truth.”

In a Facebook post by @Layo Harry Stubborn, a 14-second video of Adeyinka writing a statement inside what was suspected to be a police station was seen by our correspondent, with an accompanying voice partly saying, “This is Dorcas Adeyinka in a Nigerian prison. She has been jailed. She has been jailed.”

In another 50-second video shared @Asipa Tubosun Martins Facebook page seen by PUNCH Metro on Sunday, the UK-based Nigerian blogger was sighted in a brawl with one other woman outside a shop purportedly owned by one of the bloggers.

Reacting to the arrest, the spokesperson for the state command, Benjamin Hundeyin, stated on his X handle on Saturday that the blogger’s detention, along with Folake Adekoya and a male, Sikiru Ayinde, bordered on the alleged crime.

He added that the police had conducted a preliminary investigation and that a court remand order had been obtained for the suspects until January 10, 2024.

He partly said, “The police, having conducted preliminary investigations and establishing these cases against the suspects, arrested the suspects for a consolidation and harmonisation of the investigations for possible prosecution.”

When contacted by our correspondent, on Monday, the command spokesperson did not pick up his mobile phone. The text message sent to him had yet to receive any response as of the time this report was filed.