SAHARA REPORTERS FOUNDERS’ ARREST; THE NIGERIA POLICE FORCE ROLE OF A PAROCHIAL UMPIRE

By CDHR

The attention of the Committee for the Defence of Human Right (CDHR) is drawn to the newspaper report of the arrest of the founder of Sahara Reporters, Mr. Omoyele Sowore by the police over a petition by a magazine publisher, Lekan Fatodu on Wednesday 11th January, 2017.

First, it is curious to ask why the police had not gone after Sowore all these while if as the report says the Lagos state police commissioner confronted Sowore with a petition pre written by Mr. Lekan Fatodu and it was Fatodu and his friends that accosted Sowore before the intervention of the police.

Secondly, the submissions of the Lagos state PPRO, SP Dolapo Badmos that Mr. Fatodu said Sowore approached him and demanded N200M to ‘kill’ a story he had about him is flimsy, fictitious and after-thought which should have been use to go after Sowore immediately the police got wind of it.

Lastly, it would have been highly parochial of the Lagos state police commissioner to have been hostile to Sowore as he (Sowore) claimed in the report because no matter what, the police commissioner is expected to be an unbiased umpire.

The rules of engagement and use of firearms under the Police Acts and Regulations as posited by the Lagos State PPRO cannot be justified in this instance.

For the Lagos state police to be seen as an unbiased umpire, the two men should be charged to court for breach of peace of the society where each of them will tell the court his side of the story.

The Committee is watching with keen interest.