A Nigerian Christian street preacher who was handcuffed and arrested by UK Police for constituting nuisance on the street, has been awarded £2,500 for wrongful arrest.
Oluwole Ilesanmi, 64, has welcomed the payout by the Metropolitan Police as a victory for freedom of speech after he was wrongly accused of Islamophobia.
The former dentist was preaching outside Southgate Tube station in North London in February, 2019 when he was approached by two officers. A passer-by had earlier called police and accused Mr. Ilesanmi of hate speech.
He admitted to having described Islam as an ‘aberration’ but insists he was simply expressing his point of view as a Christian rather than denigrating Muslims. One of the police officers claimed Mr. Ilesanmi was disturbing the peace, saying: ‘No one wants to hear that. They want you to go away.’
He was handcuffed before the officer gave a thumbs-up to the camera. Mr. Ilesanmi was then bundled into a police car and driven several miles away. Then the grandfather was ‘de-arrested’ and let out of the car.
Scotland Yard has now agreed to pay Mr. Ilesanmi £2,500 for wrongful arrest and his humiliating and distressing treatment.
Mr. Ilesanmi told UK’s The Mail on Sunday:
I believe God loves everyone, including Muslims, but I have the right to say I that I don’t agree with Islam we are living in a Christian country, after all. I was upset when they took away my Bible. They just threw it in the police car. They would never have done that if it had been the Koran. Whatever happened to freedom of speech?
In the video, the Police Officer told him no one wants to listen to his preaching and Ilesanmi replied saying
You will listen when you are dead