Fashola: DSS Arrests Iruefi, CEO of Reportera Brother, 2 Others Over Alleged Defamation, Cyber-stalking

Babatunde Fashola had sued three persons for alleging he was writing judgement on behalf of the Judges at the PEPT.

A worrisome situation highlights the intricate interplay between press freedom and legal measures as Mr. Iruefi, the Managing Director of Reportera, utilized Twitter to express his concerns regarding the recent detention of his brother by the Department of State Services (DSS).

This arrest occurred subsequent to a legal action initiated by Mr. Babatunde Fashola, a former Minister of Works and Housing and a former governor of Lagos state. Fashola filed a lawsuit against Reportera and certain individuals, alleging defamation and cyber-stalking. This case raises important questions about the boundary between freedom of the press and legal accountability.

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 @ReporteraNews 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 giving 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.

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.