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APC supporter arrested for ‘defaming Obidient’ on X regains freedom

APC supporter arrested for ‘defaming Obidient’ on X regains freedom
April 12
10:00 2024

Okezie Atani, a pastor and supporter of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has been released by the police. 

Atani regained his freedom after several APC members, including Ayodele Olawande, minister of state for youth; and Dayo Israel, national youth leader of the party; waded in.

The pastor had claimed that politicians in the Labour Party (LP) pay to host live audio conversations on X, formerly called Twitter.

Atani’s allegation was contained in a post directed at one Serah Ibrahim, an influential figure in the Obidient movement.

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‘Obidient’ is a moniker for a supporter of Peter Obi, presidential candidate of the LP in the 2023 election.

Subsequently, Ibrahim filed a complaint with the police, providing the basis for Atani’s arrest.

Afterwards, some notable members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on X criticised APC members for “abandoning their own”, as pressure mounted on the police to disclose Atani’s whereabouts and set him free.

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Ibrahim had said it was unfair that Atani and his supporters were playing victims after she had repeatedly asked the pastor to delete the allegation.

“I begged for your contact from your friend and called you personally and even texted, you hung up on me,” she said in a post.

“I reached out to you to just delete and even told you I never made that tweet but you mocked me and said I was begging you. You went as far as saying you saw me post it and you were fast enough to screenshot it.”

However, in a post on Friday, Olawande said he swung into action not because Atani is a member of the APC, but “because of our commitment to due process and fairness”.

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“According to the reports I received, Pastor Okezie was taken in the presence of his elderly parents, wife, and children, who were understandably traumatized by the incident,” the minister said.

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“Contrary to common standards, the station to which he was taken was not disclosed, leaving his loved ones distraught and emotionally disturbed. Fortunately, this is no longer the case.

“His family now knows his whereabouts, and his well-being has been ascertained. He will be on his way home soon, while we continue to work to guarantee that no youth has to experience any form of maltreatment under our watch.”

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Atani had also said he is hated by certain X users because of his support for President Bola Tinubu.

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