Sahara Reporters’ publisher, Omoyele Sowore, arrested for ‘blackmailing’ long-time friend

Posted on January 12 2017 , at 10:30 am
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  • State police spokesperson, Dolapo Badmus, confirmed Sowore was arrested after Fatodu filed a petition involving criminal defamation, blackmail and threat to life against him.

Sahara Reporters publisher Omoyele Sowore bailed
Sowore (M) has been released on bail. Credit: Facebook

Sahara Reporters’ publisher, Omoyele Sowore, has been arrested for allegedly blackmailing long-time friend and UK-based journalist, Lekan Fatodu.

Fatodu is founder of Leeman Communications, a media services firm and publisher of Checkout Magazine.

‘I just got Sowore Omoyele of Sahara Reporters arrested for criminal defamation and blackmail and threat to my life and career,’ Fatodu said in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

‘I’m sure you guys will remember how Sowore lied against me that I was used as a front to receive N1.7 billion of the National Security funds.

Sahara Reporters publisher Omoyele Sowore arrested
Sowore said it was Fatodu who knocked on his window and he stopped to greet him only to be attacked. Credit: Facebook

‘My refusal to agree to Sowore’s criminal demands and cut from the fictitious money made him to viciously attack my personality on his website. And imagine this is someone I’ve known and I’ve been assisting for almost 20 years.

‘Hopefully we will be going to the court tomorrow,’ he wrote.

Fatodu seems to have ties with prominent Nigerian politicians. Here he is with former Lagos governor Bola Tinubu in 2013.
Fatodu seems to have ties with prominent Nigerian politicians. Here he is with former Lagos governor Bola Tinubu in 2013

State police spokesperson, Dolapo Badmus, confirmed Sowore was arrested after Fatodu filed a petition involving criminal defamation, blackmail and threat to life against him.

‘The commissioner received the petition yesterday (Tuesday) and he immediately referred it to Panti for further investigation,’ Badmus said.

Sowore said he was arrested after Fatodu attacked him in Ikeja G.R.A on Wednesday afternoon. He accused the police of dancing to Fatodu’s tune.

Fatodu and Sowore have been friends for 20 years.
Fatodu and Sowore have been friends for 20 years

‘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,’ Sowore said.

‘After driving for a few minutes, I slowed down by a construction site on the road and someone knocked on my window.’

sowore vs fatodu sahara reporters newsroomng1

Sowore said it was Fatodu who knocked on his window and he stopped to greet him only to be attacked. Police were then called in and everyone involved in the said fracas was taken to Area ‘F’ Command Headquarters, in Ikeja.

It was there police informed Sowore there’s a petition that warranted his arrest. Badmus confirmed the publisher has been transferred to Panti in Yaba.

Fatodu with Tinubu in 2013.
Fatodu with Tinubu in 2013

After Fatodu posted a picture of a Sowore surrounded by three police officers on Facebook, many people took to the thread to plead on the Sahara Reporters’ publisher’s behalf.

Fatodu seems have ties with prominent politicians including former Lagos governor Bola Tinubu and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo with Fatodu in 2015.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo with Fatodu in 2015

Some commenters feared Fatodu was being used to victimize Sowore who uses his platform to attack Nigerian politicians. Others said Sowore, whom they accused of practicing ‘blackmail and kidnapping journalism’ deserved a jail tenure.

Sowore and Fatodu are long-time friends. Both men graduated from the University of Lagos (UNILAG).

This post first appeared on NEWSROOM.

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