That fateful afternoon, I was the anchor of a programme and as I (Wole Adejumo) discussed with the organizers after the event, there came one of the most insulted Nigerians alive; Kemi Omololu-Olunloyo, daughter of the famous Dr. Victor Omololu Olunloyo, who governed Oyo State in 1983. She probably belongs to the class of Nigerians who are insulted on and of the social media on a daily basis’ I mean the likes of the immediate past President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, his successor, Muhamadu Buhari, the “no nonsense” Femi Fani-Kayode, who like his father and grandfather is a lawyer.
When I introduced myself, her first question was “are you related to Gboyega Adejumo?” Of course I answered that he is not just my cousin but the Mogaji of the family. And then we got talking… about so many things including love, work, female genital mutilation, health and above all journalism.
“People say I’m crazy”, she said. “They say oh, Kemi Olunloyo is crazy, she is permanently on medication, but those things don’t bother me”. I simply smiled and after that, she asked for my opinion about “brown envelope” and its effect on journalism.
By the time the driver came to pick her, I saw her to the car and when she told her mum “Mummy, Wole Adejumo, Gboyega’s cousin”, after the usual greetings, Mama looked at Aunty Kemi and said “Baba won lo saami fun yin ni kekere” ( Their father was the priest at your confirmation).
I only heard that Professor Adejumo stayed with Dr. Olunloyo when he was in school but I never knew the depth of the relationship until later.
Good, she is facing charges bordering on defamation, but for an awaiting trial inmate to appear in court in prison uniform speaks volumes. It is another peek into what goes on in Nigeria’s justice system. And taking her to court in handcuffs, in my opinion is going too far.
I once wrote about the rot in that system, having faced criminal defamation charges myself.
The prison system in Nigeria is simply dehumanizing. And Nigeria is a place where someone would be accused of doing something wrong and instead of addressing the issue, accepting or denying; the person would go to court and file suits on defamation.
Court cases in Nigeria have become more of psychological warfare in which the “stronger” party tries to demean and embarrass the “weaker” party and stifle such party into silence.
Sometimes it would happen that the defendant would be remanded in prison custody and on the date fixed for bail hearing, the judge would just not show up! Sometimes the prosecutor would just decide to amend a charge and the judge would revoke the existing bail and force a fresh application.
The inside of a prison cell is the last I would wish for even my worst enemy. Sleep in an average Nigerian prison and you’ll have bugs crawling all over you in a matter of 24 hours. While on remand, I shared a cell with 78 other inmates and I know what they call “ration”, you can’t eat what you like. Even water is rationed in prison!
As part of the admission process, my head was shaved with a razor blade that was broken into two. The other half was used on my casemate (as they call co-defendant in prison).
I have heard people say Kemi Olunloyo was given “trial uniform”, making it appear normal but I dare say when Vampire, the notorious kidnapper was snatched from warders in a court, was he brought in trial uniform? So many politicians have appeared, are appearing and will appear in court, none of them has ever been given trial uniform to put on.
I am not in any way absolving her of her excesses, but what I would say here is that he that thinks he stands should take heed lest he falls. Some of those who decided people’s fates in time past died in prison. Who says today’s men of power cannot end up as prison?
Not a few people who have been at the receiving end of her vituperations are happy about her arrest, detention, arraignment and remand. Meanwhile, nothing has been said about the issue that took her there in the first place.
I have had my turn, Kemi Olunloyo is having hers… no one knows who is next.