UK-based Nigerian journalist, Lekan Fatodu who facilitated the arrest of Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore says he would take him to court for criminal defamation.
Speaking with The Cable, Fatodu said he fell out with Sowore a friend of 20 years when he demanded N100m bribe from him.
“I am charging Sowore to court, I am pushing a criminal case, a threat to my life, and I am doing it today. I have compelling evidence against him. I have known Sowore for almost 20 years. He demanded N100 million from me from a fictitious N500 million contract from the office of the former national security adviser (NSA).
“I did a contract with the ex-NSA in 2014, and my name has not been put out for committing any crime in the course of the contract. I delivered the contract, and the NSA office was satisfied.
“So, for Sowore who is always looking for someone to rubbish to come after me is strange. This is a man I helped when he was begging for assistance, and I have evidence. I have pushed him to where he is, so he should allow me live my life.
“I have never heard that it is a crime to have a contract with government, inasmuch as you deliver what you have been given money for and you do it legitimately.
“There is no reason why he should come after me. He started calling me in 2016, asking for a cut. He said the federal government had asked people to appear before a verification committee on contracts, but the government only listed companies and not individuals.
“I don’t have anything to hide. My refusal to give in to Sowore’s selfish demand made him to malign me and also issue a threat. I have a recording where Sowore said his bank account is bigger than mine. He has been doing this to a lot of people, but today is his day.
“I have nothing personal against him; Sowore is my friend, but I have to defend my rights. Some people are saying it is a civil case, and it doesn’t warrant police intervention. Threat to life is not a civil case, it is a criminal offence.”
Fatodu said Sowore has to tender an unreserved apology before he can consider listening to him.
“He needs to tender an apology over his dubious story before I can consider settling any issue. That is how it is done in any decent society,” he said.
On his part, Sowore said he had never taken bribe from anyone, not even Fatodu.
“This is someone I bought a ticket for to get out of this country. I was the first person that bought him ticket to leave this country. If I want bribe, it won’t be from him.
“Jonathan was there distributing money like water and they would have loved to give me, but I didn’t collect. If I was president of the University of Lagos students’ union and I didn’t take bribe, if I have been doing Sahara Reporters for 10 years without taking bribe, why will I take bribe from him?” he asked.