Omoyele Sowore, founder and publisher of SaharaReporters, today in Lagos rejected efforts by the Nigerian police to mediate between him and Lekan Fatodu, whom Mr. Sowore accused of assaulting him yesterday. 

Speaking to reporters just before he went in for a meeting at Panti police station in Lagos, Mr. Sowore expressed surprise that the police were now talking about mediating between him and Mr. Fatodu instead of proceeding with prosecuting the latter for physically assaulting him yesterday. He stated that Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, seemed to be part of the plot to attack and possibly kill him, adding that the police should arraign his attackers rather than dabble into mediation between him and them. 

Yesterday, Mr. Fatodun and an accomplice named Andre assaulted Mr. Sowore. Shortly after the attack, plainclothes police from Area F of the Lagos State Police Command arrived on the scene. 

Mr. Fatodu told the police that SaharaReporters had defamed him in a report that stated that he had played a role in a money laundering case involving former Aviation Minister Femi Fani-Kayode. 

According to Mr. Sowore, the Lagos State Police Commissioner Fatai Owoseni presented him with a petition alleging that he committed “criminal defamation” against Mr. Fatodu by including his name in the Femi Fani-Kayode story published in January 2016. 

The commissioner proceeded to escort Mr. Sowore to Panti Police Station without officially arresting him. 

After detaining the SaharaReporters founder and publisher for several hours, the police released him, requesting that he return today for mediation talks. 

While agreeing to speak to police, Mr. Sowore said he would reject any such mediation, adding that the police owed a duty to arrest and arraign the man who attacked him. 

Our correspondent revealed that police dismissed Mr. Fatodu’s blackmail complaint filed against Mr. Sowore, saying that his allegation was unfounded. Regarding the defamation of character complaint, the police advised Mr. Fatodu to take the case to a civil court.

At the time of publication, he was still meeting with police officials at Panti. 

Update, 5:55 p.m. (WAT): Omoyele Sowore has left the police investigation department in Lagos. The police did not file any charges against him.

SaharaReporters founder and publisher, Omoyele Sowore, speaks with journalists and supporters outside the Panti police station in Lagos

 

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