Alleged character assassination: Sue me as quickly as possible, but wait till Friday for next story – Soyombo challenges IBD Dende
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Alleged character assassination: Sue me as quickly as possible, but wait till Friday for next story – Soyombo challenges IBD Dende

Feb. 29, 2024

Alleged character assassination: Sue me as quickly as possible, but wait till Friday for next story – Soyombo challenges IBD Dende

Admin By Adewale Adewale
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An award winning investigative journalist, ‘Fisayo Soyombo, has dared an Ogun State businessman, Ibrahim Dende Egungbohun, to quickly sue him as soon as possible over an alleged character assassination by the journalist.

Soyombo, in an undercover investigation revealed how he smuggled about 100 bags of rice into Nigeria from Benin Republic 'without the faintest security resistance, working with information from a greedy Nigeria Customs Service bosses who betrayed patrol teams...'.

In the report, Soyombo alleged that IBD International Hotels in Ilaro, Yewa South Local Government, owned by Egungbohun was built with proceeds of smuggling.

He further alleged that the status of Egungbohun as Ilaro's biggest smuggler has been helped by his proximity to power, 'coupled with the influence he had amassed with his wealth.'

Dende was said to be part of the Nigeria delegation at the COP28 Climate Change Summit in Dubai in December, 2023.

IBD Dende, as fondly called, had written the Inspector General of Police, IGP, amongst others, demanding investigation and prosecution of Soyombo.

Soyombo, the founder of Foundation for Investigative Journalism, in a tweet on his X account on Thursday, said he hoped the lawyers of the businessman sue him as quickly as possible.

He further advised them to wait until Friday when he releases the next story, 'so that they can capture it in their pre-action letter.'

He also provided his e-mail address for the lawsuit.

"I earnestly hope Dende’s lawyers sue me as quickly as possible. My unsolicited advice for them, though, is to wait until tomorrow when I release the next story so that they can capture it in their pre-action letter.

"That evidence you’ve been clamouring for, you will finally get it tomorrow. And, yes, send that lawsuit to fisayo@fij.ng – that’s my email address!"

He said he was unmoved by the threat to arrest him through the IGP, saying such arrest would not be the first and last time by the office of the IGP, having been arrested in 2021 on the order of the office of the IGP.

"I am unmoved by the threat of arrest or detention by the IGP. Were it to happen, it wouldn’t be my first detention on the orders of an IGP. It happened in 2021; it will probably happen again — if not today, then tomorrow or someday in the future.

"I live every day prepared for arrests.

"Anyone must be naive to think I chose investigative journalism expecting to be a free man every day.

"Again, you think I am scared of detention? The same me who voluntarily slept five nights in a police cell and eight days in prison just to uncover a story? You now think arrest or detention by the IG is my next headache? Dey play o."

He also revealed that he had received numerous messages and calls nursing fear of possible elimination.

"I’ve received numerous messages and calls from people nursing fears of my elimination. Totally understandable. We are all aware that smugglers are dangerous people. But I’m a man who made peace with his mortality long ago. All of us will die someday. Neither me writing this nor you reading it will get out of this life alive!

"My journalism is an orchestra that will keep playing until the day God says stop. When that day comes, I’d be unable to extend my life by an extra second, even if I wanted to. And until that day comes, nobody born of a woman can shorten it by a second, even if they tried.

"Man, when rich, connected and powerful, tends to forget that even his own life is not exactly his. None of us who will go to bed tonight is 100% certain of rousing from sleep tomorrow (We all hope to, of course, but where is the certainty?). Not me, not anyone angered by my mere existence or my lifelong commitment to a saner society."

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