Controversial journalist and former Oyo state governor’s daughter, Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo has accused
the chief registrar attached to the Port Harcourt Division of the
Federal High Court of sitting on her case in order to keep her
perpetually behind bars, despite having allegedly met her bail
The blogger spoke from inside Port Harcourt Prison where she has been remanded since
her initial arraignment in mid-March for alleged criminal defamation
against a Port-Harcourt-based preacher, David Ibiyeomie.
Speaking with PREMIUM TIMES inside the office of the Comptroller of
Prisons in Rivers State, Ifeanyi Amaliri, last week, Ms.
Omololu-Olunloyo stated that her lawyers had satisfied all bail
requirements set by H.I.O. Shamah, a federal judge who granted her bail
on April 11.
She said she had strong indications to believe the deputy chief
registrar was sitting on her case on alleged orders of some powerful
But the court registrar said the accused’s bail paperwork was still
being perfected by her lawyers, with whom she said she had been in
constant touch with.
Maimunat Folami, the Deputy Chief Registrar, strongly denied the
allegations, stating that her office had cooperated fully with Ms.
Omololu-Olunloyo’s counsel to ensure proper vetting of her bail
“We have done everything that we’re supposed to do,” Ms. Folami said. “This allegation is very strange.”
“I have to do all the works of ensuring that all the documents are put in place.
Even if the documents are put in place, we still have to conduct
certain investigations, like verifying the addresses of the sureties to
be sure they are who they say they are.”
Ms. Folami also said Ms. Omololu-Olunloyo’s case file was taken away
the last time her matter was heard on May 23. Although the judge was
absent, the case file was not returned to her office, causing further
delay in working out the final details of Ms. Omololu-Olunloyo’s
Peter Nkanga, the West Africa representative of the U.S.-based
Committee to Protect Journalists, condemned Ms. Omololu-Olunloyo’s
continued incarceration for over 78 days and counting, despite all bail
conditions met since May 11, including signing an undertaking not to
“It is an outrage that the judiciary can be taking over
three weeks and counting to verify Ms. Omololu-Olunloyo’s bail
requirements, at the expense of her freedom,” Mr. Nkanga told PREMIUM
Fatai Lawal of Afe Babalola Chambers, which is representing Ms.
Omololu-Olunloyo, spoke to PREMIUM TIMES but declined to blame the
registrar for the challenges faced in perfecting his client’s bail
“We’re confident about her possible release this week,” he said.
A team of police officers first arrested Ms. Omololu-Olunloyo in Ibadan on March 13.
She was whisked to Port Harcourt where she was arraigned before a Chief
Magistrate’s Court in Port-Harcourt. The case was later transferred to
the Federal High Court.
Ms. Omololu-Olunloyo, however, spoke positively about the prison officials.
They have done an excellent job taking care of me and ensuring that I don’t starve and my health does not deteriorate, she said.