Committee to Protect Journalists has swung to the defense of Kemi Olunloyo who is still in Port Harcourt prison for allegedly defaming a Port-Harcourt Pastor, against court orders granting her bail.
Kemi, who runs the blog HNN Africa, has been jailed for 69 days pending trial, despite two court orders for her release on bail.
“Defamation should never be a criminal matter in the first place, but keeping Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo in prison for 69 days and counting, despite two court orders for her release on bail, is a clear perversion of justice,” said Peter Nkanga, CPJ’s West Africa representative. “Judicial authorities should cease dragging their feet and should release the blogger immediately.”
Kemi Olunloyo’s original post has been removed from Instagram, but a legal document CPJ has reviewed indicates it was published first “on or about” February 17. When she published the letter, Kemi wrote that neither the pastor nor the woman had responded to her request for comment.
Kemi is scheduled to appear at the Federal High Court again on May 23, her lawyers told CPJ. Omololu-Olunloyo and Welson are scheduled to appear together before the magistrate court on June 14, the lawyers said.