The spokesperson for Police in Lagos State, SP Dolapo Badmos, has confirmed the arrest of the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Mr. Omoleye Sowore.
Badmos said the journalist was arrested on Wednesday, January 11 over an alleged threat to life and blackmail of a London-based journalist, one Lekan Fatodun.
She said Sowore was picked up in his home by policemen attached to Area ‘F’ command, Ikeja.
She added that the arrest followed a petition by Fatodun, alleging that Sowore published a story on alleged money laundry against him.
She said the publication alleged that Fatodun was assisting politicians to move money out of the country.
“The publisher was arrested this evening over threat to life and blackmail. Investigation is still going on,” she said.
While the police spokesman was not forthcoming with details of the threat to life and blackmail allegations leveled against Sowore, he reportedly said he was attacked by Fatodun, publisher of UK-based CheckOut magazine over a story Sahara Reporters published about him last year.
Sowore said Fatodun attacked him after he drove out of a restaurant situated along Isaac John Street.
“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.
After driving for a few minutes, I slowed down by a construction site on the road and someone knocked on my window,” he said.
Sowore said he immediately recognised Fatodun and wound down to greet him only to be physically attacked and dragged out of his vehicle.
“The construction workers and other people around moved closer to intervene and the police were called in,” he said.
The police took Sowore, Mr. Fatodun and others involved in the incident to Area “F” Command Headquarters, also in Ikeja.
It was there that the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, said Sowore should be transferred to the State Criminal Investigation Department in Panti, Yaba, Lagos.
“It is unfortunate that the commissioner will treat such a brutal attack against me this way.
“The matter that was before him was only about the immediate threat to my life only for him to further endanger my life by asking them to send me to Panti,” said Sowore.
NAN, Premium Times