Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, arrested

OMOYELE SOWORE

The police in Lagos have arrested Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, following an attack on him by a London-based Nigerian journalist, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

While details of the incident remain sketchy, this newspaper has gathered that it occurred on Wednesday afternoon in Ikeja G.R.A, Lagos.

Mr. Sowore told PREMIUM TIMES that he was attacked by Lekan Fatodu, ‎publisher of UK-based CheckOut magazine over a story Sahara Reporters published about him last year.

But Mr. Fatodu posted a tweet saying he “just got Sowore Omoyele of Saharareporters arrested for criminal defamation and blackmail and threat to my life and career.”

Mr. Sowore said Mr. Fatodu attacked him after he drove out of a restaurant situated along Isaac John Street.

“I went with a friend to have lunch in a restaurant and as we drove out of the place we got on Isaac John Street,” Mr. Sowore said. “After driving for a few minutes, I slowed down by a construction site on the road and someone knocked on my window.”

Mr. Sowore said he immediately recognised Mr. Fatodu and wound down to greet him only to be physically attacked and dragged out of his vehicle.

“The construction workers and other people around moved closer to intervene and the police were called in,” he said.

The police took Mr. Sowore, Mr. Fatodu and others involved in the incident to Area “F” Command Headquarters, also in Ikeja.

It was here that the Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said Mr. Sowore should be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department in Panti, Yaba, Lagos.

“It is unfortunate that the commissioner will treat such a brutal attack against me this way,” Mr. Sowore said.

“The matter that was before him was only about the immediate threat to my life only for him to further endanger my life by asking them to send me to Panti.”

Dolapo Badmus, the police spokesperson in the state, said Mr. Sowore was sent to Panti based on a petition against him.

Mr. Badmus said the petition was filed by Mr. Fatodu and it involved criminal defamation, blackmail and threat to life.

“The commissioner received the petition yesterday and he immediately referred it to Panti for further investigation,” Ms. Badmus said. “That is why he was driven there for further investigation in his case.”

Ms. Badmus could not immediately say if or when Mr. Sowore would be arraigned before a court.

“The matter is still under investigation,” she said.

Mr. Sowore founded Sahara Reporters in 2006 to promote citizen journalism by encouraging everyday people to report stories about corruption, human rights abuses and other political misconduct in Nigeria.

A story the platform published in January 2016 alleged that Mr. Fatodu stood as front for a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, in the mismanagement of funds meant for the purchase of arms for the military.

Mr. Sowore said he believed Mr. Fatodu’s attack against him was “strictly because of the report and other numerous investigations of Sahara Reporters against him and his benefactors.”

Mr. Fani-Kayode is currently standing trial on allegations that he received funds from a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.


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  • zacchaeus Akinleye

    When did the police become an authority to order detention of a citizen based on a petition against same? The collusion between Fatodu and Commish Owoseni is an assault on Sowore’s human rights and should be referred to court.

    • Say the truth

      He will be held in custody for at least one month so that the police can carry out thorough investigation on the petition against him. I like to see him paraded with handcuffs like a common criminal when he appears in court. It is just the normal police due process.

      • WaragainstLiars

        None of your speculations will happen. You are a backward person who hates the truth.

      • zacchaeus Akinleye

        Your expectations has been overthrown. Sowore has confounded the counsel of evil minds like you!

    • Tijani

      Hellooo? Nigeria police and even EFCC only arrest and lock up people based on petitions, especially false petitions, you didn’t know that? Check out the whistleblowers act bill! Ha ha ha!

  • Höly Wähala

    “It is unfortunate that the commissioner will treat such a brutal attack against me this way… The matter that was before him was only about the immediate threat to my life only for him to further endanger my life by asking them to send me to Panti.” – Omoyele Sowore

    Omo Sowore should just calm down and absolve panti with gratitude to Sango that he wasn’t left at the notorious Area F police station in Ikeja… because by this time tomorrow he could be a dead cold man. Methinks, it is hightime he smells the inside of a gulag for his numerous scandalous articles against Aunty Dr. NOI and very many Nigerians which were neither proven nor retracted after so many complaints. Two-fighting ordinarily is not case for CID investigation, I suspect Femi Fani-Kayode is about to carve his pound of “panmo” from Omoyeye Sowore’s rear-end, hahaha chei indeed… Next up: Premium Times vs Lt. Gen. Buratai. LoL!

    • Ijeuwa

      Now I know who you are!

      • Höly Wähala

        Lol…

        • princegab

          He is a “pound of flesh taker” even where not deserved

    • princegab

      You and that box ? You are indeed obsess.
      Nothing extraordinary has happened to Sowore, it’s expected boy, he will be back and stronger for it.

      • Höly Wähala

        Shut up dia, praise singer, did I tell you that I want him dead? I’m Igbo and Catholic not Yoro and Sango worshipper like you. He simply needed the shake up to learn a bit about responsible journalism and my hope is he has learned that lesson. Fcuk-off monkey!

        • princegab

          Your bushy eyebrows depict your megalomaniac tendencies with a head full of conspiracy theories. Mr “know all”, now you know how little is your knowledge about anything. Going about in dirty goatee misinformed while contaminating the gullibles. “Tufiaka”

  • Suruchukwu Igbogambo

    No Orchids For Sowore!!!
    He will be swallowed by the intrigues he has created.
    He should be asked about his sponsors?
    Who does he work for?
    is he a spy for foreign Governments?
    How many bank accounts does he own?
    All those that he has maligned should immediately file their case in court now that he is on ground.

    • Höly Wähala

      Hahahahahahahaaaa… everyday for the baboon and banana stealing but, one day is enough for the owner. LOL!

      • Suruchukwu Igbogambo

        This Guy should not be allowed to leave Nigeria for the next 3 years until he answers all the cases coming his way. Dr NOI, Saraki, Aisha Buhari, Buratai. Kyari , Dino. etc., chai sowore go hia wen

        • Rommel

          He will be freed,I am proud of him

          • Höly Wähala

            Moron… one day at Panti is all he needs, go and read his account of the hostility he faced at Area F Ikeja before getting your hopes up too high. What did I tell you folks after his latest unsubstantiated trash about Aisha Buhari? That he is long overdue for serious lawsuit and follow-through because writing garbage has become a habit of his lately… see why I keep saying, “My oracle is never wrong”? Let me tell you succintly, he will be transfered in a car boot to Kuje and if he survives, it will be a long legal journey for him for stepping on so many toes especially that of my Aunt, Dr. Prof. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. Hahaha chei, I told you clowns his website had gone to pigs that’s why I stopped commenting there, today nko? Go over there and see… no Breaking News about their baba being hauled to gulag. Awon olosi jati-jati. Get Lost!

          • WaragainstLiars

            Liar

          • Eze

            grandpa! the likes of your wishes tried it many years ago and he overcame. where are they today? so na you go go of heart attack before him. ooo biiiiiii

        • WaragainstLiars

          Because he exposed all your stealing and looting. He will be freed. Remember he is not Kanu that is being held for crime against the Country.

      • Eze

        Grandpa. he is already freed hence why he was able to grant the interview to premium times. hope you will not die of heart attacke tonight?…ooobiii

    • Eze

      you see your wack brain??? where should i start from? your condition is indeed irredeemable. sorry ooo. even the police could not hold him any longer

    • Ogar

      Why do you ppl always have the thought that Sahara reporters are being sponsored by some highly placed individuals? And you for a pool of those demanding for transparency when you are so beclouded with bad followership.

  • Rommel

    Mr Sowore should immediately be released unless he has been found to have committed any crime,if what he has narrated is true then that aggressor should be the one behind bars,Nigerians are proud of what he has achieved with Sahara reporters

    • Urchuc

      I don’t know what you are saying. Someone who named his Dog after his Icon was attacked by the Icons’s people. Instead of arresting the attackers, the attacked was arrested and charged to court for being attacked. Reason was initially given that he was taken into protective custody of Police Cell. Later he was charged to court. That happened in this country. So, tell me the difference between that and this. That is the type of Democracy we have enthroned.

      • emmanuel

        Rommel is a demented human. Every of his post and position contradicts the other. Only a F**l can have such a demnted soul representing him

  • Ajayi Ifayemi

    God will shame all the bad belle people who are rejoicing here on Sowore’s arrest. The man that has snooped out a lot of secret shenanigans by our county folks deserves praise not condemnation.

  • Say the truth

    At last this dirty thing is in custody. I will advise the police to hold well. Get court injunction to hold him perpetually until investigation is complete. As a matter of fact he should be taken to underground guest house while investigation goes on. He has encouraged authorities to do the same to others and his website never saw anything wrong with the approach. May be after this experience he will understand what others have gone through. By the time he is out he will be a new man or he will go to court in US.

    • otitokoro

      The lunacy in this physical entity called Nigeria is unparalleled. What is Sowore’s sin exactly? A country run like a private plantation where dissents are taken personally. Omoyele Sowore should be released now if he has not committed any crime.

      • Eze

        my brother. he has even been released. shame on hatters. indeed corruption is fighting back

        • otitokoro

          I say thank God for that. I am so relieved now. Ododo ni obori iro -the truth will come out as a winner.

    • Isaac Azor

      Your true identify would have helped Nigerians know your position in this project called Nigeria. You sound like one of those exposed by Sahara Reporters! For the police, they will only keep deceiving us that they are our friends!!

    • Karl Imom

      Which U.S. are you talking about? Do you think police in the U. S. are going to arrest someone on the basis of a petition by ONE individual without conducting their own investigations? You need to grow-up. Exposure of corruption in Nigeria by the media has come to stay, regardless of police harassment. With or without Sahara Reporters, the struggle will continue, and people like you will continue to remain in hiding.

    • Sunny

      You are myopic and that fully reflected in your contribution. When will Nigeria grow up? Because Sowore has been one of good Nigerians that expose corruption in our society.

    • Eze

      olodo! not even the police could hold him further. he has been released and the stooge used is trying to sing another song now. shame on hatters who still follow the develoment of their hate.

  • Alpha

    Did Sowore think he can run SR and be going from one restaurant to the other in Lagos under current conditions? It is like seeking martyrdom which he will not get! Sounds like ‘hand of esaw voice of Jacob’. If one noticed the attack on his site earlier today. Let’s wait and see.

    • Karl Imom

      I think you are right. The guy should remain in New York, and do his investigative journalism the he was doing before APC came to power. It is even more risky for him now, because EFCC and DSS are following up on his leads, so corrupt politicians and endemic criminals like Fani Kayode have come see him as enemy NO 1.

    • Adijat

      Honestly! Some people do not fear for their lives. The truth is not palatable in this world!

    • Michael

      Good point. As a matter of fact I always thought that this man is some kind of a legend that resides in New York and doesn’t set foot in nigeria. What was he thinking?

      • Eze

        that shows he is a young man with a brave heart. not even yout can take the risk to say the truth and still remain around to face the consequences abi. he is an exception you should adore sir

        • Alpha

          “Those who fight and run away, live to fight another day”, you must have heard that before?

    • Eze

      the import of your message is???

  • Tijani

    Aisha extracting her pound of flesh and blood!

    • Eze

      this might not necessarily be from that quaters, but certainly corruption is fighting back

  • marc umeh

    If Mr Soweri was in his car when attacked , then the attacker should be the one in jail.
    If he had shot the attacker , it would be a clear case of self- defence.

  • victor

    This entity called Nigeria is gradually sliding into anarchy. People being picked up and detained before conducting investigation. If a police station fully staffed like Area F can’t handle an issue between 2 citizens, then i think we are in a mess. I used to think panti was reserved for high profile cases. hmmm.

  • tsunami1earthquake

    I quite agree with most of your submissions on this matter. The police is just ill-informed with regard to handling criminal matters. I wonder why even the commissioner of police would order such detention of Sowore. I don’t know what happened but the snippets of the matter in this story did not show anywhere Sowore threatened this person’s life. And if the story linked the person to Fani-Kayode’s case, the simple thing is to refer the matter to the justice department, with all the evidence. It is for it to determine the matter, not just because a complainant touted ‘criminal defamation’. Some people are just making fun of Nigerian laws.

    And, related to it, assuming Sowore had actually committed an offence, whether civil or criminal, the matter in question was done on a US-based media. And so the matter should be better handled by a US law enforcement and not Nigerian.

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  • emmanuel

    Sowore neva see anything, he go eat Lunch for Issac John, na Ponmo e go eat. The undertaker who blackmail, publish lies and misinformation for his pay masters.
    Those who sow evil reap evil.
    Where is his Sahara TV. The jesters of our time.
    During Yar Adua, his friend Segun Adeniyi fed him from the Villa with information, so he mixed both genuine news and blackmail to sell his medium. Then he got some adverts. When Segun left, he resorted to only blackmail, undertaking and crafting of lies. Before long, many moved away from SR; coupled with taking down opposing post, leading to lower trafic and fallen advert

    • otitokoro

      Arrant nonsense. Nothing bad will happen to Omoyele Sowore because you and your ilk are not God, you know, the one who created Heaven and earth and everything in between. Believe it or not.