Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, gained temporary freedom from police custody in the early hours of this morning following reports of his arrest yesterday.
In a public post on Facebook, Sowore confirmed his release and once again revealed the reason for his attack and subsequent arrest.
The post reads:
“I am now safely out of the labyrinth of a police conspiracy centred around one Lekan Fatodu whom, in January 2016, we reported on SaharaReporters had been involved in laundering money for Femi Fani-Kayode. On Wednesday, Lekan and a friend of his referred to as “Ándre” waylaid me at GRA Ikeja and tried to kill me. The attempt was resisted by the public, following which he showed up later with a police van from Area “F” police with a plain cloth police team. As it turned out, Commissioner of the Lagos State Police Command, Fatai Owoseni was part of the conspiracy, as he pulled out a petition alleging “criminal defamation” against me, got upset when I questioned his position and impartiality, and threatened to deal with me. Even in the days of General Abacha, I did not experience that brazen partiality. My attack by Fatodu was organized with the police, but as they were unable to arrest me directly, he was given the cover to carry out an attack that would give the police their needed tonic to take vengeance on me. The situation wasn’t better when I was hurled before Lagos CP, Mr. Owoseni and later, Frank Mba, who started a winding story claiming it was a messy case. I was asked to sign for my bail on Self Recognizance, but I declined, insisting I had not been arrested by the police and were that the case, that I preferred to be booked and shown an arrest warrant. After a short argument, I was let go without signing a bail bond, but was asked to return to the Panti Police Station on Thursday at 2p.m. I wish to thank all Nigerians and others who have reached out to me over this saga. I am grateful to Peter Claver Oparah, Temitope Gomez and Inibehe Effiong who served last night as my lawyer, as well as the construction workers at Isaac John Street who came out to defend me from what could have been a fatal attack. I will return to Panti on Thursday as requested, to confront the police over the case. Rest assured that I’ve always prepared for things of this nature this in the course of my self-appointed duties as a conscience of the public. If you have spare time tomorrow, meet me at the SCID at Panti at 2 pm. There is no retreat and no surrender.”
Sowore was arrested following a petition by Lekan Fatodu, whom he had alleged via a publication on his website, that he was being used by former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, to launder money out of the country while he was in office.