A plot by aides of Nigeria’s Senate President Bukola Saraki to launch a smear campaign against SaharaReporters and to attack the website’s reporters in Nigeria has come to light. Bamikole Omishore, who handles Mr. Saraki’s social media team, is coordinating the plan. Mr. Omishore recently circulated a video of Ahmed Olanrewaju Buhari, an activist who was on August 30, 2017 abducted by Mr. Saraki’s aides from the premises of the Ilorin High Court and tortured. On September 14, 2017, the senator’s aides again attacked students and activists who were at the same to demonstrate solidarity with Saharareporters which filed an appeal against a questionable judgment obtained by Mr. Saraki in a case where the website was not served. Aides of the Senate President smashed the windshield and door glasses of a bus transporting some journalists, students and observers to the court hearing. They also tore the clothes of Funmi Jolade-Ajayi, a female activist who attended the court, almost rendering her naked.
After his abduction by Senator Saraki’s aides, Mr. Ahmed Olarenwaju was tortured and forced at gunpoint to state that Saharareporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, had sent him to disrupt the court proceedings. Mr. Omishore, the senator’s social media aide, later shared a video showing a tortured Mr. Olanrewaju claiming he was sent by Mr. Sowore and one Kayode Oyin-Zubair to bomb the court. When caught re-tweeting the video, Mr. claimed he was not in Nigeria at the time of the torture.
Mr. Oyin-Zubair immediately petitioned the police alleging a threat to his life and criminal libel. In investigating the case, the police in Kwara State found that the criminal abduction of Mr. Olanrewaju Buhari was supervised by one Sulyman Buhari, the Public Relations Officer of the All Progressives Congress (APC). The police had earlier arrested and detained one Sholyment Olusegun Olusola who initially circulated the torture video.
SaharaReporters could not confirm if it was Mr. who led the police to Sulyman Buhari, but Mr. Buhari two days ago gave a statement to police claiming that one Tunji Buhari carried out the beating of Mr. Olanrewaju.
Addressing the media in Ilorin yesterday, Mr. Oyin-Zubair denied ever sending anybody to disrupt the court. He also urged the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Kpotun Idris to take over the case from the Kwara state command of the Nigerian police to ensure all the culprits were brought to justice.
Meanwhile, SaharaReporters has learned that Mr. Saraki, through the Director-General of Nigeria’s Director of State Security (DSS), obtained statements of personal accounts belonging to Mr. Omoyele Sowore as well as those of SaharaReporters Media Foundation, a foundation formed to run the media lab of SaharaReporters Media Foundation in Lagos. After obtaining the statements, Senator Saraki assembled a squad led by Mr. Omishore and they began compiling names of persons associated with Saharareporters and its publisher with the intention of intimidating tor outrightly harming hem.
Mr. Omishore has huge war chest generally deployed to buy off social media influencers, NGOs and bloggers to look the other way or support his employer as SaharaReporters publishes reports of the senator’s inexplicable assets. Mr. Omishore was behind a recent bogus protest at SaharaReporters media lab in Lagos, a protest that held up our staff at our Ikeja office.
Mr. Omishore disclosed today on twitter that Senator Saraki was now in possession of SaharaReporters bank accounts for the SaharaReporters Media Foundation and personal accounts belonging to its publisher, Omoyele Sowore. SaharaReporters always knew that the senator had fished for its corporate and personal accounts, alerting the public to the criminal alliance between Mr. Saraki and the DG of DSS. The two men have collaborated on a plot to suppress our platform through a well-funded smear campaign. Before Mr. Saraki reportedly handed over the account statement to Mr. Omishore, the senator had held several meetings with Isa Funtua, a member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabal. The two men agreed to collaborate on a campaign to smear Saharareporters by scaring away all the foundations supporting the website’s work.
The protest at the premises of the media lab was designed to target the foundations that support SaharaReporters and its media lab. Mr. Omishore has consistently trolled the foundations in recent twitter rants with the hope of getting at them.
Yesterday’s official revelation, which inadvertently came from Omishore after it was revealed that he had retweeted a torture video, came in the wake of renewed efforts by Senators Saraki, Stella Oduah and Dino Melaye to smear the publisher of SaharaReporters.
I will provide Extortion details of 4 GTB accounts and 3 UBA accounts detailing millions of illicit transactions of Omoyele Stephen Sowore— Bamikole Banks Omisore (@MrBanksOmishore) September 21, 2017
SaharaReporters learned that Mr. Saraki and his media aide, Mr. Omishore, had strategized for weeks to launch a major smear blitz against operators of SaharaReporters. At the core of their plan was to discover if the transactions in the corporate and private bank accounts contained any questionable deposits. Unable to find such deposits, they retained a syndicate to prepare a fake Bank of America account statement claiming that Mr. Sowore had a million dollars in a US account. When that plan was exposed, they took the same account statement to lawyers in New York to find out how they could use it against SaharaReporters and its operators. While in New York to meet some lawyers and private investigators, Mr. Omishore boasted that his team had concluded plans to file a lawsuit and lien in New York to retrieve part of the N4 billion in questionable judgment handed to Mr. Saraki by a court in Kwara state where he was for eight years the governor. A source with knowledge of the senator’s moves disclosed that the US lawyers consulted by Mr. Saraki’s team told them that no law court in the US would enforce a fraudulent court judgment from Kwara state.
The trio of Senators Saraki, Melaye and Oduah aim to sponsor a false allegation of rape against Mr. Sowore. They invoked the authority of former Inspector General of Police, Mike Okiro, for the allegation. SaharaReporters has written a series of reports detailing Mr. Okiro’s acts of corruption.
President Goodluck Jonathan’s hirelings first used the false rape allegation in 2014 as SaharaReporters highlighted the corruption within the former president’s administration.
Mr. Okiro was the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Administration) in Lagos when Omoyele Sowore was President of the University of Lagos Students Union. Mr. Okiro deputized for James Danbaba, the former Commissioner of Police in Lagos, who was arrested and tried for assisting the late Nigerian dictator, General Sani Abacha, to kill and maim several pro-democracy activists. During Mr. Okiro’s tenure as Deputy Commissioner of Police, members of a cult gang at the University of Lagos, led by a police officer, Frank Odare, attacked Mr. Sowore.