October 22, 2019

CSO condemns alleged plan to arrest, charge Soyombo

CSO condemns alleged plan to arrest, charge Soyombo

…urges media to resist tyranny

By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja

A Civil Society Organisation, CSO, Concerned Nigeria, CN, Tuesday, condemned alleged moves to arrest and charge a practicing journalist, Fisayo Soyombo.

CSO condemns alleged plan to arrest, charge Soyombo

The condemnation was made by the Convener, CN, Prince Deji Adeyanju, in a statement made available to Vanguard in regard to the alleged arrest of Soyombo.

According to Adeyanju the media has been pushed and placed at a tight corner following incessant intimidations and harassments they are facing while doing their job as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.

He said: “We condemn plans by the Nigerian Government to arrest and charge journalist,  @fisayosoyombo. Journalism is not a crime. He should be given national Honours for exposing systematic corruption and not threats of arrest and prosecution.

“It will mean many journalists will be more scared of exposing corruption in the system and doing their job. Boycott Government functions for one week. Refuse to cover Government activities let only NTA cover them.

He also urged the media to stand firm against intimidation and tyranny, “Younger journalists are exposed but we cannot just give up on the country without a fight. The media must resist the tyranny that is the only way they can survive this.”

Meanwhile, he assured that CSOs and well-meaning Nigerians will be on the streets to protest the threats and moves to gag the media.

“We will do the needful by leading street protests. The government must stop gagging the media because this is a democracy. Section 39 of our constitution is clear on the freedom of expression and that of the press”, he said.

Soyombo is an investigative journalist, whose undercover stories exposed the heartbreaking corrupt practices in Nigerian Police cells and prison.

He was a former editor with the TheCable and a contributor to Al Jazeera. He grave account in his undercover story on how Nigerian policemen “pervert the course of justice in their quest for ill-gotten money” with the name Ojo Olajumoke.

He risked his life by spending days at a cell in Pedro Police Station, Shomolu, Lagos State and was later charged to Ikoyi Prison, where he spent eight days. Evidence of his investigation includes audio, pictorial and video showing the depth of corruption.