The Department of State Services (DSS) has reportedly arrested a relative of the owner of an online media platform – Reportera for defaming former Lagos Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola.
Iru Efi, the media platform owner made this known on his Twitter handle @IruefiNG on Saturday, August 12, 2023.
According to him, his brother, Chike Victor Ibezim was arrested by men of the DSS two days ago following a “defamaton” & “cyber-stalking” petition written against his media company @ReporteraNews by Babatunde Fashola.
A post claimed last week that Foshola was drafting a favourable judgment to be handed over to judges of Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, PEPT.
However, the former Minister of Works and Housing petitioned the Inspector-General of Police over what he described as defamatory social media posts.
He described the allegation as “baseless and defamatory”, saying those responsible for the posts were “agents of destabilisation”.
In the petition addressed to the IGP, written by his counsel, Olanrewaju Akinsola, Fashola said the allegation was peddled by Ude, Yoruba Sheikh, and Reportera.NG, using the microblogging platform, Twitter.
But in the latest development, the owner of Reportera.NG claimed the DSS acting on Fashola’s petition arrested his brother when they were unable to arrest him.
He said; “I’d like to inform Nigerians that my brother Chike Victor Ibezim was abducted by men of the DSS 2 days ago following a “defamation” & “cyber-stalking” petition written against my media company
by Babatunde Fashola based on the News report, we published (Attached).
“For the first 24 hours, we didn’t know his whereabouts, we were aware he was taken by law enforcement because they came in search of me but met my absence but we didn’t know which and where he was taken to, not until yesterday evening.
“I have neither been given any invitation based on this petiole and neither have I formally been invited to report for any case, thus wonder why they’d swoop on me and attack a member of my family in my stead, for sometime he knows absolutely nothing about.
I'd like to inform Nigerians that my brother Chike Victor Ibezim was abducted by men of the DSS 2 days ago following a "defamaton" & "cyber-stalking" petition written against my media company @ReporteraNews by Babatunde Fashola based on the News report we published (Attached). pic.twitter.com/gVmtWbwPAp— Iruefi XXL (@IruefiNG) August 12, 2023
“While this is not the time to talk about the article for which reason Reportera was petitioned, I’d like to categorically make it clear that we didn’t make a false allegation against the former minister, we only reported what was already in the media and even called it a rumour.
“I call on all well-meaning Nigerians who know that the Rule of Law must be upheld in a 21st century democracy to join voices with me and my family to call for the immediate release of my brother followed with a proper & procedural investigation into this case to ascertain guilt.
“Again, let me reiterate that I haven’t received an invitation from the DSS and even when their men came in contact with my family, they didn’t give any reasons for their visit or drop any details regarding his abduction neither was any instruction received to report anywhere.
“Hence I don’t even know what my next move should be. On this note, I’d like to tell Nigerians that I am worried about my safety. I have a very young family who depend on me and I cannot afford to be illegally kept away from them for even a second.
“This country keeps giving us reasons not to believe in it as the day goes by but we will never stop because we have no other country apart from this. Please join voices with me to ensure that myself, my brother, family and business gets justice.
“We have begun taking the necessary legal steps to see to this effect,” he concluded.