Nigeria: Akwa Ibom Comedian Arrested Over Facebook Posts

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16 January 2020

A popular stand-up comedian in Akwa Ibom State has been arrested by the police allegedly on the order of an Akwa Ibom government official.

The comedian, whose stage name is Sir James, was arrested on Wednesday in Uyo. He is accused of posting “injurious” comments on Facebook against the commissioner for tourism in the state, Orman Esin, two persons in the entertainment industry in the state told PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday.

Sir James, before his arrest, took to Facebook to launch a vigorous campaign against an alleged poor treatment of local entertainers by state officials.

He specifically accused the commissioner, Mr Esin, and his ministry of refusing to pay or underpaying several artistes who performed in a state-organised event during the Christmas holiday.

“I heard the Commissioner’s house is receiving unexpected guests this morning & currently paying some artistes,” Sir James wrote a few days ago on the social media site.

“Some people who called me for direction to his house are now send me ‘Thank You’ & ‘God Bless’.

“Hurry up, go & get your money coz he may be going overseas for vacation with his family this weekend,” he added.

In another Facebook post, the comedian said he was not afraid of litigation or arrest.

“The problem is not that he accused the commissioner of not paying entertainers, the problem is that he published the commissioner’s house address and phone number on Facebook,” one entertainer told PREMIUM TIMES Thursday.

Mr Esin did not respond to calls and text message from PREMIUM TIMES.

The police spokesperson in the state, Odiko MacDon, did not respond to calls and text message from PREMIUM TIMES.

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