Family of detained UK-based Nigerian blogger seeks justice

The family of Miss Dorcas Adeyinka, a UK-based blogger, has called for justice as she faces charges of cyberbullying and cyberstalking in Nigeria.

The family accused the Lagos State Police Command of conducting a biased investigation, claiming that Adeyinka has been targeted online by suspected Nigerian bloggers.

A bill addressing online content regulation recently passed the second reading in the House of Representatives thus, the family urged the police not to align with those allegedly responsible for Adeyinka’s online harassment, suggesting a potential collaboration between the bloggers and law enforcement.

Speaking with newsmen in a telephone interview on Sunday, Mrs. Yinka Badmus, Adeyinka’s mother, asserted that her daughter was detained without prior police invitation on Wednesday.

According to her, Adeyinka went to report a traffic incident, but was unexpectedly arrested by individuals connected to her online bullies.

“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,” Badmus said.

Moreover, Toyin Adeyinka, the blogger’s cousin, highlighted a history of cyberbullying and stalking against Adeyinka.

She claimed that the bloggers are attempting to silence her cousin through police involvement, emphasizing a conspiracy to punish Dorcas for speaking the truth on her blog.

“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,” she stated.

Moreso, videos circulating on social media purportedly showed Adeyinka writing a statement in a police station and engaging in a confrontation outside a shop; the family denounced these as attempts to smear her reputation.

The Lagos State Police spokesperson, Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed the detention of Adeyinka on his X handle on Saturday, along with others, based on preliminary investigations, while a court remand order has been obtained, with a court date set for January 10, 2024.

“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,” he wrote.

Despite attempts to contact the police spokesperson for further clarification, there has been no response as of the time of this report.