Editor-in-Chief Questioned Over Story Exposing Corruption in the Police

Mr. Fisayo Soyombo

On December 13, 2021, Mr. Fisayo Soyombo, an investigative journalist and Editor-in-Chief of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), was interrogated for about seven hours by officers of the Nigerian Police after he honoured an invitation from the Office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP).

According to FIJ, Soyombo was on a long trip on November 23 when he received an SMS that says: “Good Afternoon sir, this office is conducting an investigation in which your name and phone number featured, in view of this, you are to interview the Head, IGP Monitoring Unit on the 29th November, 2021 by 1000hrs at 1st Floor, Force Hqtrs, Abuja. Thanks.”

On return from his trip, Soyombo, honoured the invitation and got to the Force Headquarters in Abuja at about 11am. He was questioned in connection to a story exposing the award of transit police camp projects that do not exist to the tune of the contract sums.

In August 2021, FIJ had reported how Joseph Egbunike, head of the police internal panel probing Abba Kyari’s indictment in a recent FBI report on fraud conspiracy, in his former role as Commissioner of Police in charge of Budget and Finance at the Nigeria Police Force Headquarters, joined other police chiefs to approve more than N1billion for sham police transit camps project in Benue, Bauchi, Plateau, Katsina and Kano states. However, FIJ’s visit to the project locations revealed that nothing or little had been done — three years later.

The story was published on https://fij.ng/article/exclusive-egbunike-head-of-abba-kyari-probe-panel-joined-others-to-approve-n1bn-for-fake-police-camp-projects/.

Following the publication, a group of lawyers who claimed to operate under a joint mandate as “Concerned Lawyers in defence of the Nigeria Police and its officers from the peddling and publication of falsehood” led by Stefan Onome Okorodudu petitioned Usman Alkali, the Inspector General of Police, asking for the prosecution of those behind the publication for defamation under the Penal Code.

Fisayo was released at about 6.30pm later in the day.