Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, has strongly denied bribery claims by his estranged friend, Lekan Fatodu.
Fatodu had alleged that Sowore demanded a bribe from him from an NSA contract and that his refusal to yield led to negatives stories being published him on Sahara Reporters.
Reacting to the allegation, Sowore said he had never demanded bribe from anybody over stories in his life.
“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,” Sowore told TheCable.
“(Former president Goodluck) 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 said there was a grand conspiracy against him, and that he was prepared to go any mile to defend himself.
He accused the police of taking sides with his accuser.
“I was physically attacked by this guy and the police was called. When we got to the police station, they changed the story,” he said.
“The commissioner of police said he had a petition against me. And I was furious, because here was a guy who nearly killed me. That’s the story, not the red herring that I demanded money.
“This problem started in January 2016 when I wrote a story on him being a front for Femi Fani-Kayode. He came and even sent people to beg me to take the story down, but I said I don’t take stories on my website down because I have evidence.
“He then moved to threat, but if he has evidence that I demanded money from him, wouldn’t he have put the information out there? What has he been waiting for since January 2016? I do not demand bribe to do stories, I did not demand a kobo from him, never. Why didn’t he give you the evidence?”
Sowore said he was aware that a governor had called Fatodu to congratulate him on the latest development, but he was not worried.
“I am an activist, activism is what I do. People can hate me or love me for it. That’s what I do. I am not afraid. I heard that a governor has called to congratulate him,” he said.
“If you see the story they were pushing out yesterday, you will know that this is a serious conspiracy. Even the statement released by the police… I love this country so much. I know there are a lot of people working behind the scene, but I am not afraid.”