Sahara Reporters Publisher released as Police give reasons for arrest
The Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, has been released by the Police in Lagos State.
Sowore, who was arrested on Wednesday evening, was released late same day, but with a proviso that he reports back to the State Criminal Investigation Department, Panti on Thursday.
According to the police, Sowore was arrested based on a petition by another publisher, Lekan Fatodu, who accused him of defamation and blackmail.
A statement by the Lagos State Police Command spokesperson, Dolapo Badmos, said: “Today, 11/1/2017 at about 15:39hrs, a distress call was received by the Lagos State Police Command that Mr Omoyele Sowore – Publisher of Sahara Reporters was being attacked by suspected hoodlums around Isaac John street, GRA ikeja.
“The police swiftly responded, and upon arrival at the scene contrary to the report that a robbery attack was taking place, the police met the duo of Mr Omoyele Sowore and Mr Lekan Fatodu engaged in a brawl/altercation. With a view to ascertaining what led to the false alarm of a robbery, both parties were taken before the Commissioner of Police.
“In the course of police intervention, it was found out that the brawl is in connection with an earlier complaint of alleged threat to life, defamation of character and blackmail made by Lekan against Omoyele. Both parties were subsequently referred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCIID), Panti where the case has been under investigation.”
Sowore, in his own account of the incident, alleged bias by the police.
He 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.
“After the police intervened soon as I was attacked by Lekan Fatodu and his friends in Lagos, we were taken to the CP’s office in Lagos.
“Turns out he was in on this, he pulled out a supposed petition written by Lekan from his hat after that he became very hostile towards me and ordered that we be driven to State CID, at Panti in Lagos.
“It is very obvious that this was planned between Lekan Fatodu and the police. They offered him unbridled support as he continued attacking me.”