The Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, has said he is ready to put his life on the line to ensure those he described as “drug dealers, certificate forgers, money launderers, political manipulators, and assassins” are named and shamed.
Sowore stated this via a post he made on his Facebook page in response to a statement made by Senator Dino Melaye that he would ensure he (Sowore) is sent to jail for alleged libel.
He said the quagmire between himself and Melaye can be likened to that of former military dictator, General Ibrahim Babangida, who instituted libel charges, petitions, even incarcerated and allegedly murdered late Dele Giwa and persecuted Gani Fawehinmi over their investigative stance.
Sowore wrote, “Folks: It was brought to my attention earlier that Nigerian Senator Dino Melaye promised to ‘send me to jail’ over the recent unraveling of his questionable educational background. While some are worried, appalled, alarmed and concerned and even scared about this declaration, it had me thinking differently.
“I am a Nigerian citizen who had been through torture, humiliations, and incarceration by dictators in uniform between 1992-1999 before I, eventually, left Nigeria. I have never doubted the power of justice over legalities.
“That a Nigerian Senator in a democratic era could make this proclamation is indeed a sign that our democratic transition was a farce, particular when you’ve now noticed that Mr. Melaye was sitting at the feet of one of Nigeria’s worst military dictators, Ibrahim Babangida just a week ago.
“One of Babangida’s worst crimes against humanity was the assassination of notable investigative journalists of our time, Dele Giwa, by way of a parcel bomb. Another thing Melaye shares in common with Babangida and his killer squad was using libel lawsuits to silence inquisitions. In the 80’s Gani Fawehimi was found liable of libeling the killers of Dele Giwa and asked to pay damages to Halilu Akilu.
“Here is how I am different and also not different, I am not going to run away from criminals running the Nigerian political space until they are defeated, and their ideologies of greed, bloodiness, and avarice are entirely abandoned and discredited forever (Apology to Bob Marley).
“If it takes my life, so be it; if it means another unjust ruling asking for damages for thieves. So be it. We must take our space back from the 10 percenters, drug dealers, certificate forgers, money launderers, political manipulators, and assassins.