Sahara Reporters Publisher Arrested for Criminal Defamation and Charges

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On January 11, 2017, Sowore Omoyele, the publisher of Sahara Reporters, a citizen journalism blog, was arrested in Lagos following a petition written by a journalist, Lekan Fatodu, alleging that Sowore published a story indicting him of money laundering.

Confirming Sowore’s arrest, Ms Dolapo Badmos, the Lagos State Police Command spokesperson, said Sowore was arrested in his home in Lagos by policemen attached to Area ‘F’ command, Ikeja. She said “The publisher was arrested this evening over threat to life and blackmail. Investigation is still going on.”

Badmos added that the said publication alleged that Fatodun was assisting politicians to move money out of the country.

Fatodu also took to twitter to announce the arrest where he twitted that he facilitated Sowore’s arrest. He tweeted: “I just got Sowore Omoyele of Sahara Reporters arrested for criminal defamation and blackmail and threat to my life and career.”

Sowore later narrated his side of the story took on Facebook. Sowore accused the police of being hostile towards him adding that they planned his ordeal with Fatodun and accusing Fatodun of assaulting him in the presence of the police.

Sowore, in the Facebook post said: “I was physically attacked today by a gang led by Lekan Fatodu… he assaulted me before police officers at Area ‘F’ in Ikeja in Lagos.”

He said he was taken to the Police Commissioner’s office where, according to him, he found that the commissioner had been compromised as he pulled out a supposed petition written by Lekan from his hat. He added that thereafter that the Commissioner became hostile towards him and ordered that they be driven to State CID, at Panti in Lagos.