Police Grill FIJ Board Of Trustees Chair, Declare Award-winning Journalist, Fisayo Wanted

The Nigeria Police Force has asked the Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) Board of Trustees, Bukky Shonibare to produce the medium executive director and editor-in-chief, Fisayo Soyombo.

FIJ recently exposed irregularities in the country’s customs service personnel and the invitation could be connected to that.

 

Mrs Shonibare mentioned this while narrating what she faced when she honoured the initial invitation by the police in Abuja on the same matter, FIJ reports.

 

According to her, ‘Fisayo is willing to honour the police invitation if invited and clarified that the award-winning journalist is not on the run as assumed by the police.

 

She said, “The investigator closed his iPad, put his hands on the table and said, well we need to speak to ‘Fisayo. You need to produce ‘Fisayo. So I said, if he said I need to produce ‘Fisayo, that sounds like you have tried to get ‘Fisayo or you’ve invited him and he did not come, so you need me, in whatever capacity, to go and produce him.

“So, I had to clarify that ‘Fisayo was not on the run; it is not like they had invited him and he didn’t come. So, he asked when I could come with ‘Fisayo. I asked if he was inviting me again. He said, yes, but I had to return with ‘Fisayo.

“So, I told him we have to get back to ‘Fisayo and to know when he’ll be available to come, and when he’s around; ‘Fisayo is not running. He took the statement in and came back outside and asked us to come see the deputy director. He had exited at some point into the questioning.

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“So, they took us in and he said, madam, how was it? I told him that questions were asked, and questions were answered. He asked if I was treated well, and I said that was subjective. He then said that he could see we were being careful and all of that, that we could be friends. He was doing everything possible to be nice and playful.

“He asked why FIJ was not like another specific non-profit organisation.

“The deputy director said that he was friends with this non-profit organisation. He said that they would go to do their research and bring the information to the police. ‘So, why are we publishing our work?’ he asked. ‘Why don’t we bring some findings to them and settle things amicably?’

“I told him that FIJ is the Foundation for Investigative Journalism. That’s the work that we do. We’re not another befriending non-profit bringing stories to them. We don’t work that way. Our job is to publish stories.”

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