UK based Nigerian Adeyinka Shoyemi gets four years for inciting ethnic violence on social media

The President of the Young Yoruba for Freedom (YYF), Adeyinka Shoyemi, has been jailed in the United Kingdom for posting messages on social media encouraging violence in Nigeria.

Shoyemi, 45, of Powis Terrace, W11, West London, was first arrested in August 2019 after members of the public raised concerns to the police about social media posts that contained comments aimed at particular ethnic groups based in Nigeria.

The Met's Counter Terrorism Command arrested the Yoruba agitator after his social media account, Adeyinka Grandson, was traced to him.

UK based Nigerian Adeyinka Shoyemi gets four years for inciting violence on social media
UK based Nigerian Adeyinka Shoyemi gets four years for inciting violence on social media. Photo credit: Met Police

His numerous posts were investigated by the Counter-terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CTIRU), and it was determined that his posts were potentially in breach of UK legislation, and a formal investigation was launched.

Officers searched his home address and two others in London and recovered various digital devices.

He was then released on bail while detectives carried out further enquiries and analyzed the devices seized. 

He was released with conditions not to make any comments or posts on social media which were threatening, abusive or insulting to any ethnic group.

Shoyemi was charged in May 2020 with six counts of inciting racial hatred.

However, in October 2020, he was rearrested by officers after he made further offending social media posts whilst on bail. Two further charges were added as a result.

In an interview Shoyemi granted to Nigerian Media in 2017, he threatened war against his home country if "the government refused to return Nigeria to true and fiscal federalism that is based on regional autonomy on or before the election."

He added, "The Young Yorubas for Freedom will declare for Oduduwa Republic and start a war with the use of chemical, biological, and even radiological weapons against the Federal Government of Nigeria if its President orders an attack on the sovereignty of the Yoruba people whenever we declare for the Oduduwa Republic.

"The days our parents were protesting with their fists in the face of armoured tanks and being killed, arrested, imprisoned and exiled by the Hausa/Fulani are over. Our generation has learned from their mistakes. It is Oduduwa Republic or organized violence."

Shoyemi was found guilty on 30 November 2021 of eight counts of inciting racial hatred after a trial at Southwark Crown Court.

On Thursday, 31 March, he was sentenced to four and a half years imprisonment.

Commander Richard Smith, head of the Met'sMet's Counter Terrorism Command, said: "Our Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit – the first of its kind to be established anywhere in the world – was instrumental in identifying Shoyemi and his activity.

"Over the last ten years, the CTIRU has been at the forefront of getting harmful content removed from the internet and detecting and investigating potential terrorist-related activity online.

"We continue to need the help and support of the public, and I would encourage anyone who comes across material or posts that could be related to terrorism or violent extremist activity to report it to us so that our specialist officers can take action where necessary."

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