The family of UK-based Nigerian blogger Miss Dorcas Adeyinka is demanding justice following her arrest on Wednesday for alleged cyberbullying and cyberstalking. They accuse the Lagos State Police Command of carrying out a biased and lopsided investigation.
Adeyinka’s family claims she has been subjected to online threats, cyberstalking, and bullying by other bloggers who name-call and shame her on social media using different accounts. Interestingly, this coincides with the recent second reading in the House of Representatives of a bill proposing to regulate online content and provide safeguards for children.
Despite the potential legal framework, Adeyinka’s family fears the police are siding with her alleged online harassers who, they suspect, are exploiting the system to silence her further. They allege that the same individuals who stalked Adeyinka online are now using the police to complete their “blackmailing job.”
In a telephone interview with PUNCH on Sunday, Adeyinka’s mother, Mrs. Yinka Badmus, explained, “My daughter was never summoned by the police for any crime before her arrest. She went to the station to report a traffic incident when these individuals appeared with other policemen who detained her.”
She further highlighted their existing online harassment: “These are the same people who have been bullying my daughter on Facebook and other platforms. She wasn’t summoned, she went to report a damaged car. We were shocked when they claimed accusations of insulting the President and Inspector General of Police against her.”
Echoing these concerns, Adeyinka’s cousin, Toyin Adeyinka, alleged that other bloggers are using the police as a tool to silence her for speaking out against online harassment.
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.