The Scotland Yard compensated Oluwole Ilesanmi with £2,500, after arresting him for false charges and calling him “Islamophobic”.
Oluwole Ilesanmi is a Christian street preacher in London. He had moved to London in 2010 from Nigeria as a protestant missionary.
Olu preached loudly outside the Southgate Tube station in North London on February 23. Some police officers nearby found the noise intolerable, so they approached him and tried to stop him from preaching God’s word.
Olu wouldn’t give up. When the police threatened him that they might arrest him for wasting people’s day and disturbing them by yelling at their faces, Olu replied fearlessly, “I need to tell them the truth because Jesus is underway.”
After a heated argument with the police, the police forcefully took the red bible from Olu and handcuffed him.
“Don’t take my bible away”, Olu said upon his arrest.
Olu was forced into the police vehicle in which he rode for about 5 miles. The police then released him in a remote area called Wrotham Park. Since he did not have any money, an anonymous person offered to help him travel back to the same location where he was arrested. Olu still fearlessly preached at the same spot.
Footage of the arrest of Olu pleading with police to not “take my Bible away”, has been viewed online almost 3 million times. Many Christian organizations began to seek justice for Olu and demand protection for street preachers in London.
As a result, the Scotland Yard admitted the wrongful arrest of Oluwole Ilesanmi and false accusation of Islamophobia. Olu was awarded £2,500 (about $3,100) as compensation on July 27.
The payoff included compensation for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, aggravated damages for exceptional harm, humiliating and distressing treatment as well as recognition for the potential psychological trauma experienced during the arrest.
“I believe God loves everyone, including Muslims, but I have the right to say that I don’t agree with Islam – we are living in a Christian country, after all,” said Olu in an interview with a local daily.