Police free journalist, Fisayo Soyombo, after 10 hours in custody

Police free journalist, Fisayo Soyombo, after 10 hours in custody

December 14, 2021 Uncategorized 0

The founder of Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), Mr. Fisayo Soyombo, has been released by the Nigerian Police.

Soyombo was granted bail on Monday evening after spending about 10 hours at the Force Headquarters.

He is to make a repeat visit to the Force Headquarters on January 13, 2022.

“Special thanks to my colleagues at FIJ Nigeria, lawyers, ex-bosses, the media houses who published stories, and everyone who tweeted, ‘Facebooked’, texted and made phone calls to press for my release from detention. I am out.

“Journalists, activists, lawyers and everyone else working in the public interest should not have to deal with a distraction like this, but none of us must give up on the Nigerian dream,” Fisayo said after his release.

The journalist was quizzed for hours in Abuja on Monday after he honoured a police invitation on Monday.

His interrogation was in connection with a critical story on the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Joseph Egbunike.

FIJ had in August published a report wherein it alleged that Egbunike along with other police chiefs approved over N1 billion for some police transit camp projects in Benue, Bauchi, Plateau, Katsina and Kano states.

The report indicated that after a visit to the project locations by FIJ, there was nothing to show for the huge amount three years after.

FIJ in a statement signed by Damilola Ayeni confirmed that the journalist is with the Police.

The statement reads: “Fisayo Soyombo, Founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ), is currently being detained at the Force headquarters, Abuja, by the police.
“Soyombo was on a long trip on November 23 when he received an SMS that read: Good Afternoon sir, this office is conducting an investigation in which your name and phone number featured, in view of this, you are to interview the Head, IGP Monitoring Unit on the 29th November, 2021 by 1000hrs at 1st Floor, Force Hqtrs, Abuja. Thanks.

“Knowing he committed no offence, he honoured the police invitation on Monday, days after returning from the trip, only to discover it was in connection to a story exposing the award of transit police camp projects that do not exist to the tune of the contract sums.”

The detained journalist had earlier on Monday posted on social media that: “I have just arrived at the Force Headquarters, Abuja, to honour an invitation from the Monitoring Unit of the Inspector General of Police. They say my ‘name and phone number featured in an investigation’ they are conducting.

“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. I will be surrendering my devices now…”

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