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Nigerians trend #JournalismIsNotACrime after Investigative Journalist Fisayo Soyombo is Allegedly Threatened with Arrest



Dele Giwa, the co founder of Newswatch, was in his home on the 19th of October, 1986, when a package was delivered to his guard. A month earlier, he had be invited to the then just-created State Security Services (SSS) office, after writing a story where he stated that if the newly-introduced Second-Tier Foreign Exchange Market (SFEM) failed, Nigerians would take to the streets to stone their leaders. What happened after Giwa opened the package is common knowledge: it blew up in his face. He died.

33 years later, and although Nigerian journalists aren’t dying from letter bombs, not much has changed for them. So many today are either confirmed or suspected to be behind bars for criticising the government, including Stephen KefasAbubakar Idris (popularly known as Dadiyata), and Agba Jalingo.

Fisayo Soyombo, an investigative journalist, dug deep to expose the rot and corruption both in the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Prisons Service, spending days both in detention and in prison for his work, the second part of which was released on Monday. On Tuesday morning, news began trickling in that Fisayo had been threatened with arrests, and Nigerians are simply not having it. Not anymore.

The hashtags #JournalismIsNotACrime and #KeepFisayoSafe are currently trending on Twitter, with journalists decrying how their very necessary job has become a danger. It says a lot about the society we live in, they say, and where it’s going to, if the truth is always met with violence.

Jalingo, in handcuffs, is seen wearing a shirt that says “Every free society has a journalist.” We’ll go further to say every society, especially dysfunctional ones, needs a journalist. We need people who will always speak truth to power. Without it, there’s no moving forward as a people.


1 Comment

  1. by_stander

    October 22, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    The dynamics of this thing is all over the place. The root of the problem is not at the police station or the prison service.

    The root of the problem is at the rent-seekers who feel entitled and who basically have set-up the system as we know it for their own direct financial benefit.

    The guys are just eating off the reminder of what they can find, cause life isn’t any better for them too.

    I just think conversely that if you have been imprisoned wrongfully, you would thank God these guys are willing to bend the rules a bit to give you some access. And we know more likely than none, Nigerians will be wrongfully imprisoned as a direct result of a grand rent-seeking pyramid scheme set-up by Lawyers and Accountants.

    Without trying to make excuses for a crime or a wrong doing, i will like to ask what they are actually collecting money for? are these things suppose to be available? are these things violating the human rights of the subject?

    Nigerians need to start opening up their minds to reality and know whats truly important on this earth.

    Nobody is asking how a man who didn’t commit an actual crime get imprisoned, the lawyers will not let you ask that type of question, because that would mean the entire legal system is flawed and that we have been allowing our fundamental and inalienable rights to be infringed upon by a flawed man-made system.

    A flawed man-made system that self regulates and has no consequence for causing mass disasters.


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