Detained Investigative Journalist, Soyombo, Released From Police Custody

Fisayo Soyombo

The Nigerian police have released Fisayo Soyombo, journalist and founder of online newspaper, FIJ, who was detained earlier on Monday, Thecitypulsenews reports.

FIJ made this known in a tweet shortly after it announced his detention.

“We can confirm that our Founder @fisayosoyombo has been released by the Force Headquarters.

“He was released on bail at exactly 6:26pm today (Monday) and is to return on January 13, 2022.

“Our only offence here is that we published a TRUE story,” the newspaper tweeted on its verified Twitter handle.

Recall that another popular online news platform (Premium Times) had reported how the Nigerian Police Force detained the journalist following a publication which his paper indicted a senior police officer.

In a statement signed by Damilola Ayeni, the journalist was invited in connection to a report exposing a Commissioner of Police, Joseph Egbunike, who approved the establishment of a police transit camp in six states, a project the newspaper said was either non existent or little work done.

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Mr Egbunike was in charge of the panel set up by the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali, to investigate embattled Commander of the Police Intelligence Unit, Abba Kyari.

“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,” FIJ said in a statement.

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However, it’s worthy of mentioning that the Nigerian police are known for their constant intimidation and violation of rights of journalists whose reports do not favour them.

The Force had on several occasions detained journalists for those report which the police often link to criminal investigation.

Other journalists suffer inhuman treatment during coverage of protests and other demonstrations which are perceived to be anti-government.

Confirming his release, Fisayo Soyombo on early hours of Tuesday wrote this on his Facebook wall   – “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”.

Detained Investigative Journalist, Fisayo Soyombo, Released From Police Custody

Detained Investigative Journalist, Fisayo Soyombo, Released From Police Custody
Fisayo Soyombo