It’s my pleasure connecting with you since your program Labeorun went off the air on local Tv stations, leaving everyone to watch online via your Youtube channel LabeorunTV…just like your viewers we all missed you.
This magazine City People had targeted your birthday for this interview primarily to profer a credible answer to a general question being asked by your teeming viewers where is Segun Adisa baba Labeorun and why did he abandon local transmission for LabeorunTv online. Let’s hear from the horse’s mouth
But before you go into details let me on behalf of City People Magazine wish you happy birthday sir
Thanks so much for the birthday wishes and City People‘s unflinching support for Labeorun over the years. In fact, I feel so much honoured when I got your call for this interview, which means that a big organisation like City People Magazine still keeps my birthday on record and in mind despite our long absence on local television in Nigeria. I really appreciate the management, Publisher and the entire City People‘s Magazine family…Iwaju lopa ebiti yin yoo maa re si o.
How old are you now sir…I mean your real off-air age?
(Joint chorus of Ameeeen and laughter)…Well, my real age now is just fifty-six years; I hereby leave my viewers to keep guessing and fixing my program set appearance age.
Where exactly are you speaking from?
I am speaking to you from the United States of America.
When did you leave Nigeria?
I left the shores of Nigeria amidst the greatest fear and shock of my life on August 9th, 2018 with a stopover of about two weeks in my first son’s house in London apparently to enjoy the cool breeze of my 55th birthday on 10th of August and to relax a little bit before coming to join the rest of my family; my wife and other two children here in the US.
CITY PEOPLE: Sorry to cut in sir…you mentioned fear and shock, can anything still scare you?
Of course yes because there’s is a wall of difference between physical attack and spiritual attack, and that is why we say practically that a thief or thieves are much more powerful than witches. Spiritually I had been tried severally in the last thirty years but with God, on my side, I strongly believe that no one can hurt me…probably that was why I was attacked physically on June 2018…I hope we get to that later.
Have you relocated or on a usual visit?
Yeah, I have relocated, though I have always been visiting both the UK and the US many times for years right now I have relocated with my family and my program Labeorun…thanks to technology; God has been specially good to me on LabeorunTV online via our YouTube channel.
How about your immediate family?
I am blessed with a family of five, but my first son is resident in the UK where he studied and had been living in about seven years…he was first to relocate out of Nigeria when I realised that with the nature of my type of TV investigative journalism coupled with my dogged attitude of an incorruptible person and the kind of society I found myself…
It was clear that my life and those of my family was on the line from men and women of the underworld who have permeated and invested our political class, religious organisations, business community, the academia, military, police, and the judiciary; you will agree with me that there is no way anyone could run my kind of program the way I am running it without stepping on toes of some of these evil cabals who are hell-bent on trampling on voiceless poor people to get to the top, remain there and even passing it on and on to their children…
My initial intention was to get my family out and weather the storm alone but after my experience of arrest and terrible detention in Abuja under the watch of former inspector general of police then; for fighting the course a woman who was allegedly abused sexually and duped of twenty million naira; by a socialite/politician who was close to seat of power of which City People magazine and many other newspapers published; I came to a conclusion that Nigeria does not worth dying for…there and then my philosophy changed to ”if you cannot win them and your conscience does not permit you to join them; you have to leave them ”. Back to your question; we are five …one in London the rest four in the US.
What are the circumstances surrounding your relocation to the US?
The circumstances the led to my relocation is not too far from what I have been experiencing since 1996 during my radio Nigeria days when I was first arrested, detained and taken to court in the course of my programme as a journalist;since then I had been arrested, detained and appeared in court more than fifteen times.
But I am happy and grateful to God that in all I have never been pronounced guilty by any court. It’s either the case is struck out, dismissed or settled out of court because most times the litigation was mostly to stop the story, harass my person or intimidate the station…thereby confirming that what these evil people fear most is media exposure because it automatically impedes their evil activities and possibly liberates their victims…
This is my goal which I have achieved countlessly over the years…however I always make sure that I follow the rules and ethics of the profession, which hinges on thorough investigation and subsequent balanced reporting…this requires that we get in touch with the other party after being reported either by visiting them, making phone calls or at worst calling them on air at the end of another episode if we couldn’t reach them or if they are doubting our phone calls as scam to prove that we are real…
This is what actually happened in the story of one time three bosom female friends which eventually led to my final exit from Nigeria.
It all started in 2013, then I was running the program on MITV when a middle-aged woman (please I need to be discreet and brief here so that they won’t come after your magazine) walked into our office with a report that her life was in serious danger.
She reported that her husband referred to as politician was having illicit affair with her two other friends and on the discovery, things fell apart between the four of them; therefore in connivance with her husband the two other women were hell-bent on getting rid of her spiritually.
She explained that in an attempt to achieve their deadly goal, a young boy from her husband’s relatives living with her was given three hundred nairas to help them steal one her underpants for use to afflict her one way or the other spiritually…
As usual I requested to see the boy and she brought him to me…this boy gave a confessional statement which was recorded in my camera on how he was paid three hundred naira, stole the pant but caught by his Islamic school teacher because he took the pant to school with the intention of taking it to the two women later in the day, meanwhile the potential victim was already searching for the pant at home…
We were able to get the school teacher’s voice on the phone recorded and he fully confirmed the story.
Armed with all the above facts, the feuding two women were called severally on phone, I got a response from one of them only once saying ”we can’t be cajoled or intimidated by a fake phone call from Labeorun” apparently saying that we were fake and to prove to her that we were for real, I mentioned their names at the end of our next episode of Labeorun asking them to see us concerning the crisis between them and the other woman with a view to resolving it.
I emphasised that I am the one who called them and that I am not fake but real, however, I did not go into the details of the story but I asked their potential victim and the boy who stole the pant for them to sit beside me on air when calling them…
This open-air call lasted about three minutes and it was recorded into our camera. I left MITV for Lagos Television in December 2014 and till I left I did not hear anything from them, but in mid-2014 I got a call from MITV that I was having a court summons and I went there to pick it up.
The summon was from these two women and from then we started going to court, I was personally in court about eight times, I can’t count the times I was represented by Demola Olota and Ola Gabriel...
In all of these appearances there was nothing done on the matter apart mere mention of the case followed by adjournments until late 2017 when the case was referred to ADR (alternative dispute resolution) for an amicable settlement because these people could not come up with any evidence to back up their claim that the full story had been transmitted and that they were libelled in the process.
Sir in all your court appearances, how many times did they come to court with the boy who gave you his confessional statement?
Nice question, it will interest you that this boy never appeared in court and when I asked their potential victim she told me that the boy had been taken away from home by her husband and he’s nowhere to be found, only God knows what had become the fate of that boy because he could have been the crown witness in this matter, meanwhile each time I appear in court I usually observe an aged man who accompanies them among some other people, he looks like an herbalist…he has never missed any court to the best of my knowledge.
Briefly tell us what happened at the ADR, was the matter finally resolved?
The ADR meeting was out-rightly deadlocked regardless of the playback of the 3-minute video clip from my laptop to confirm that I didn’t run the story without hearing their side and Judges persuasion to the feuding women to let peace reign…
They insisted that they were libelled and entitled to get two million nairas or the case proceeds on trial even without any evidence from them…
It was obvious at the ADR that these two women and their collaborators are stack illiterates who were being pushed ignorantly by their evil backers and also feeling bad because my call on them on air had truncated their evil process of exterminating or at least afflicting their victim who brought the story to us…
So, in my opinion, their primary goal was to get rid of me while the court process lasted; I am saying this because after the deadlocked ADR; precisely on June 21st,2018 I was driving from Lagos to Ibadan in my wife’s green Renault bus. I suspected that I was being trailed by a red golf volks car, my suspicion was heightened when I stop at a gas station, this car equally stopped and then started moving it also moved and always behind me all through…
Therefore in my effort to shake them off I stopped after entering the Oyo state axis around Onigaari, there and then the red car also stopped in front of me and three men came out of the car; they quickly approached me with one of them shouting my name to confirm my identity to the rest two, honestly I thought they were my admirers willing to catch a glimpse of me and greet my….
But I was proved wrong when one of them brought out a sharp knife called okapi threatening to stab me if I didn’t produce my laptop immediately. I quickly pointed to the laptop on my back seat and the other one picked it with a strong warning that if I report to the police, I will meet them there and if I dare report the incidence on my program, they would come after me again; and so they drove on high speed into Ibadan.
Meanwhile I called and confided the attack in my wife in the US, my first son resident in the UK and my uncle also in the US…they all asked me to expedite action to leave Nigeria immediately, in fact I had to be sleeping in my uncle’s hotel till I left the country for London on August 9th, 2018.
Could you identify any link between your attack and your case in court with these women?
Initially, I could not precisely link my attack to them, but when my Attorney sent a what-app message to me that he went to court where he requested that the case be struck out for lack of evidence.
The feuding women’s lawyer ”stand down” the case and quickly applied for a subpoena to be issued on me to appear in person court with the copy of the video of the episodes of my programme where the story was mentioned and that adjourned date was November 6th, 2018 by this time I was already in London where I stayed in my son’s house for about three weeks before I joined my wife and two other children on September 4th,2018 in the US till date.
I, therefore, asked my lawyer to forward the subpoena to me and he did, however when he got to court and informed them that I have left the country, they did not believe him until we set up a Skype interview with the court, and since then nothing was heard of the case, but when I called the(potential victim), she narrated her ordeal that she had been attacked twice in Lagos and she had gone into hiding too.
With all of the above events, I strongly believe that they had hand in my attack and they must have tried me spiritually and failed several times before resolving to physical attack…in all, I give all glory to God.
Your channel LabeorunTV still uploads new videos…how manage?
As for my channel Labeoruntv which started when I was invited by Google in 2012 and subsequently licensed as LabeorunTv same year, I never knew God had great plans for me because the channel is running much better than when I was in Nigeria…you know with technology and access to the internet you can work from anywhere these days; I now have a studio here and thank God two of my crew members are also here in the USA…So we upload on the channel regularly.
You have contributed immensely to the Nigerian society in the last thirty years…Is this the end?
This is never the end; to me, it’s a new beginning of my fight against oppressive and suppression of the downtrodden by the evil cabal tormenting the country.
Most people travel abroad for greener pastures…but Nigeria is greener for you financially and you’re famous, yet you left…why?
This year marks my almost twenty years of my off and on a sojourn in the western world, so I am not primarily here for greener pasture but for safety and protection of myself and family…In fact I had an offer to manage a Tv and radio station which I tactically rejected just before I left the country and my program was running on NTA channel 10 with so many clients’ adverts…all the same I had to leave because, there’s nothing like safety and rest of mind, especially when all my family members were already out of the country.
What changes do you think you can effect on Nigerian society from abroad ?
Well, as an entity on the verge of losing its identity sequel to unstoppable mass exodus of noble, just, learned and highly skilled people out of the country; the best contribution now is to continue to pray for God’s intervention and advocating for the best system of Governance which in my opinion is to go back to regional government with a weak or ceremonial centre, which returns the lost glory and authority to our traditional institutions.
What’s your position on calls by some groups for revolution?
Revolution comes in diverse ways, however, the kind of revolution those people are calling for can not solve our problems; it’s like you want to change pounded yam back to raw yam; that is never going to work in our situation, it would worsen it. I granted an interview in London on June 2004, then I said our problem commenced with the amalgamation of 1914; we have to forget separation and make do with regional government as soon as possible to avoid an imminent total system collapse.
In your own opinion, what’s the human rights situation and freedom of speech Nigeria
Concerning human right situation and freedom of speech, I believe we are way far behind because wherever corruption and poverty thrive, human right and freedom of speech can never survive.
How many times were you arrested and detained in Nigeria and which of them was most horrible to you?
My first arrest was in 1996 when I was on Radio Nigeria and since then I have been arrested and detained about eleven times, but never pronounced guilty by any court of law because all the arrests were mainly to silence me or subvert a particular story; however the most traumatic one was in Abuja as mentioned earlier in this interview.
Apart from your attack of last year June, have you ever been attacked before?
Yes I and my crew had been attacked severally before, but that of last year was most life-threatening I ever witnessed because I was trailed to a halt and knives were pointed at me…but God was on my side
Your program delves into exposing evil-minded people…have ever been attacked spiritually?
I believe that so many must-have tried me spiritually because a couple of times some had reported themselves to me, even on air for instance there was this story between one Gbenga and his onetime millionaire woman friend called Mama Fumec who later appeared on our program to narrate in his own words all they had done to me spiritually five years after their story was aired and how all their efforts turned futile in the long run…his self-confession is still on our YouTube channel; LabeorunTV.
Do you now feel much secured outside Nigeria?
Yes to a large extent I feel so much secured outside the country, but I believe so much God’s all-round protection.
How would you compare LabeorunTV online with your days on local television?
We are currently in the era of social media, therefore one cannot compare the YouTube that is being watched by billions of people 24/7 with any other television station, in fact, no matter how big a station is it has to be on YouTube as well; for instance our statistics showed that the level of our viewers, subscriber and most importantly the watch time would have taken us hundreds of years to acquire on any terrestrial or local station…we thank God for technology
What do you miss about Nigeria?
That’s a million-dollar question; Nigeria would have been the best country in the whole world if not for bad leadership and followership, I included followership because leaders are usually drawn from followers…so what I missed about Nigeria are too numerous to mention, I mean good things; unfortunately our lack of any credible system, corruption, human right abuse had forced many noble and intelligent people out of the country…very sad.
Thanks so much, sir for your time, once again we all wish you a happy birthday!!!
I appreciate you all, God bless and protect all of us, convey my humble regards to the Publisher