Journalist Fisayo Soyombo Held Over Story Exposing Police Corruption In Nigeria

December 13, 2021
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The Nigerian Police Force detained Fisayo Soyombo, the founder and editor-in-chief of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, on Monday (FIJ).

On Monday, Mr Soyombo accepted an invitation to be interrogated by the head of the force’s IGP monitoring section. Mr Soyombi announced shortly after coming for the interview that he had been invited in connection with his employment as a journalist and warned the public that he could be detained.

“The decision to come was straightforward: I am a law-abiding citizen who has committed no crime unless journalism is one. If there is no update on this handle by dusk, it means I have been unjustly detained,” Mr Soyombo tweeted.

According to his organization’s claim, Mr. Soyombo has been jailed since then. His imprisonment stems from an article published in August alleging top police officials of mismanaging up to N1 billion naira set out for police camp construction across the northern region.

FIJ identified Joseph Egbunike, the scandal’s police chief, as the chairman of a police panel tasked with investigating Abba Kyari, who has been indicted in the US for his role in the international money laundering network managed by Ramon ‘Hushpuppi’ Abbas.

Mr Soyombo’s paper stated in a Monday night statement that he had been called after a plea by a group of attorneys defending the police against FIJ-uncovered corruption.

Mr Soyombo’s detention continues to raise concern amongst citizens and the press community owing to the Nigeria Police Force long history of human rights violations and lack of respect for due process.

The FIJ said the police have yet to provide additional information as to why Mr Soyombo has not been released several hours after honouring their invitation. A spokesman for the police in Abuja did not immediately return a request seeking comments from Peoples Gazette on Monday evening.

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