Fisayo Soyombo feels unsafe over threat of arrest after undercover report on police, prisons

An award-winning Nigerian investigative journalist, Fisayo Soyombo, has expressed concerns over suspected plans to arrest him after publishing his undercover investigation story exposing corruption in the Nigeria’s police and prisons systems.

According to Soyombo, before coming up with the exclusive investigative reports, he said he “spent two weeks in detention, five days in a police cell and eight as an inmate in Ikoyi Prison, to track corruption in Nigeria’s criminal justice system.”

The journey to gathering his reports according to Soyombo, began “from the moment of arrest by the police to the point of release by the prison,” as he said the arrest and imprisonment availed him the opportunity to “experience the workings of the system in its raw state.”

To carry out this investigative work, Soyombo said he adopted a pseudo name, Ojo Olajumoke, and feigned an offence for which he was arrested and detained in police custody, arraigned in court and eventually remanded in prison.

Soyombo’s story segmented into three parts was eventually published in two online media, The Cable and TheICIRI.

In the first of this three-part series entitled: “UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION (I): Bribery, bail for sale… Lagos police station where innocent civilians are held and criminals are recycled” and published in The Cable and TheICIRI on Monday, October 14, Soyombo uncovers how the police pervert the course of justice in their quest for ill-gotten money.

In the second of thw three-part series entitled: “UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATION (II): Drug abuse, sodomy, bribery, pimping… The cash-and-carry operations of Ikoyi Prisons“, pubished also in The Cable and TheICIRI, a week later, on Monday, October 21, Soyombo exposes “how the courts short-change the law, and the prisons are themselves a cesspool of the exact reasons for which they hold inmates.”

For exposing the morally reprehensible lifestyle of men in uniform in the Nigerian police stations and prisons, Soyombo, a former Editor of The Cable, Sahara Reporters, who is also a contributor to Al Jazeera, now feels threatened and unsafe over plans to arrest him by state authorities.

Information has it that the second part of the three-part investigative story of Soyombo is already causing ripples among authorities at the Nigerian Correctional Service, formerly known as Nigerian Prison service, and even, the Comptroller-General, Nigerian Prisons Services, said to be angry over the issue, the reason, it was said Soyombo was book for arrest and prosecution.

The Nigerian Correctional Service headquartered in Abuja, is a Nigerian government agency which controls and operates prisons, and under the supervision of the Ministry of the Interior and the Civil Defence Immigration and Correctional Service, under the headship of Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola.

Soyombo, according to sources, had been book for arrest in Lagos on Tuesday, and he is to be picked up at the venue of a programme he had been invited to at Goethe Institute in Lagos, where he was scheduled to speak at a workshop on fake news Tuesday evening.

Soyombo told Tribune Online that “I’ve been made aware of the Nigerian authorities’ plan to arrest me.”

Also, according to an information from security sources in Abuja, it was said that “The prisons authorities are very angry, and have decided to get Fisayo Soyombo arrested, charge him to court and prosecute him under Section 29 of the Nigeria Correctional Service Act.”

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