Prison authorities deny plan to arrest Soyombo
Nigeria’s corrections services, the government agency in charge of prisons in the country, Tuesday said it’s controller-general has no plan to effect the arrest Fisayo Soyombo, a journalist whose undercover stories exposed the depth of corruption in Nigerian police cells and prison.
A spokesperson for the Corrections Service OF Enobore said in a statement on Tuesday that the controller-general was willing to work with “relevant stakeholders” and journalists.
“He [controller-general] noted that investigative journalists are partners, who seek the development of the nation, and called for more of such findings aimed at reforming the institution for better service delivery,” Enobore said.
A source told The Guardian that Soyombo’s indictment of prison officials in his report did not go down well with the top brass of the Corrections Services.
“Prison authorities are very angry and have decided to get the journalist arrested,” the source said.
“He is to be charged to court and prosecuted under Section 29 of the Nigeria Correctional Service Act.”
The planned arrest forced Soyombo to pull out of a workshop on fake news organised by Goethe Institute on Tuesday evening and has since gone underground.
The first installment of the three-part investigation by Soyombo, a former editor of The Cable and a contributor to Al Jazeera, detailed how Nigerian policemen “pervert the course of justice in their quest for ill-gotten money.
In the second part of the investigation published on Monday by The Cable, he exposed “how the courts short-change the law, and the prisons are themselves a cesspool of the exact reasons for which they hold inmates.”
While the final part of the report documents the soft side of his time in a police cell and prison, and how prison, police and court officials conspired to abduct him after his cover was blown.
During his investigation, Soyombo took on an alias – Ojo Olajumoke – spent five days in a cell at Pedro Police Station, Shomolu, Lagos. And eight days in Ikoyi prison.
His reports contained audio, pictorial and video evidence of corruption in the Nigerian judicial system.
But The Guardian on Tuesday learned that it is the second part of Soyombo’s story that has irked the Nigerian prison authorities, especially the comptroller-general of the prison services.