Businessman petitions IGP over alleged defamation by popular Nigerian journalist


A popular businessman in Ogun State, Ibrahim Egungboun, has petitioned the Inspector General of Police over alleged defamation by a popular Nigerian journalist, Fisayo Soyombo.

The businessman, popularly known as Dende, disagreed with an investigation by Soyombo titled “Undercover as a smuggler,” a report indicting Egungboun as a “ gun runner who was recently arrested by security agents but bribed his way out.”

The report was published on both Soyombo’s medium, Foundation for Investigative Journalism, FIJ, as well as The Cable on February 21, 2024. It was also discussed on Arise Television.

In the petition at the instance of Dende by his lawyer, D.O Folalu, a Principal Counsel at Lawfix Chambers, a copy of which was obtained by the press on Sunday, the accused claimed that the totality of the report was an attempt to malign him.

It will be recalled that Soyombo, in his report, quoted an unknown person, Jide, to have said, “Dende used to import Turkey, but he subsequently smuggled guns and his cover was blown; this was around August 2022.”

He further quoted the said Jide to have further told him that, “Dende’s 2018 arrest was indeed for gun-running. A licensed clearing and forwarding agent, Dende also smuggled cars, his patronage transcending the political class. As he entrenched his interests in the shady trade through the years, he started to build a legion of foot soldiers to perfect the dirty work on his behalf. Some of those boys whom Jide knew personally were bringing in high-value automobiles stashed with arms and ammunition on Dende’s behalf when they were apprehended in 2018.”

But in his letter to the Inspector-General of Police, Dende said he was ready to submit himself for thorough investigation into the claims, appealing to the police boss not to allow his alleged slanderer go freely without a thorough fact finding about the claims.

Dende noted that, “The allegations in the report were designed to cause inconvenience, danger, criminal Intimidation, enemity, hatred and needles anxiety,” against him, an act contrary to Section 24 of the cybercrimes (prohibition, prevention) Act, 2015.

The petition further reads, “For the record, our client is a Customs Licensed Agent with his business ventures cutting across Hospitality, Agriculture, Quarry, Freight forwarding and transportation.

“In the light of foregoing, we hereby request your office to cause the publications to be investigated with utmost urgency and seriousness, as they have implication not for the person of our client only but for the security architecture of our dear country.”

Efforts to get Soyombo to comment proved abortive as calls put through to his telephone did not connect. He also did not respond to text messages sent to him.

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