Police Arrests Photojournalist…Detain Him In Ikoyi Prison

Yinka Badmus, a 24-year-old photojournalist, has reportedly been arrested and detained atIkoyi Prison Lagos for wearing dreadlocks, which the officers allegedly said made him look like a cultist. Vanguard reports that Yinka was arrested while eating noodles, at Pedro Bus Stop, Gbagada on December 30th, 2018. The young man was reportedly not allowed to contact his family and they only knew about his arrest on January 3,rd 2019 by a detainee who left the police cell.  The detainee is said to have contacted Badmus’ relatives explaining that the young man had already spent three days in detention, contravening the stipulated instruction that every suspect must be charged within 24 hours. Yinka’s boss was immediately contacted to help secure his release. Yinka’s boss, Stephen Oguntoyibo, the owner of Talk Village International, said he was surprised when he got there he saw Yinka and some other inmates being transported in a Black Maria to Ogudu Magistrate’s Court, Lagos, where he was eventually arraigned and remanded. ”At the Ogudu Magistrate’s Court, the resident judge asked that Badmus be granted bail and a lawyer in the magistrate court was attached to us. The lawyer subsequently requested for the following: means of ID proof, house rent receipt, NEPA bill, company ID and tax payment receipts for two years. He also received N10,000 and later the lawyer demanded another N20,000 for his service, with a promise that he would have a meeting with the judge and, thereby, effect Badmus’s release. On Tuesday, I called the lawyer with the intention of submitting the requested documents, so the boy can be released. The lawyer, again, demanded another N25,000 for bail bond, and also made me know that I would have to pay police for verification and other processes. Meanwhile, the boy has been remanded in Ikoyi Prison.”Oguntoyinbo said. Okechukeu Nwanguma, the National Coordinator of the Network for Police Reforms in Nigeria, said;“The Police officer was quoted as saying the guy was arrested because of his hairstyle. Where in the law is a hairstyle a crime? And why did the Police officer go ahead to charge him? Since he was granted bail, why did the lawyer keep making financial demands from the surety, including money for the Police to go and verify the surety’s residence? Isn’t that unbecoming of a lawyer? The innocent guy is languishing in prison, reported to be very sick, all because of a lawyer’s greed.” he saidPhoto Credit: Yinka Badmus

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