The publishers of Global News were yesterday arrested in connection with a scandalous story involving Tunde Folawiyo, the business magnate and entrepreneur.
Segun Ogunbunmi of Global News and Kunle Rasheed of Global Excellence were arrested after publishing a story in Global News which alleged that Mr. Folawiyo had been involved in an affair with beauty pageant Ifeoma Williams.
Mr. Folawiyo had responded, through his solicitors, demanding a full retraction of the story as well as a public apology. In a letter, Folawiyo’s solicitors gave Mr. Ogunbunmi a maximum of 7 days to issue a satisfactory apology.
The letter, dated 12th July, warned that Mr. Ogunbunmi was liable to face criminal charges based on the defamatory nature of the Global News article. Following Mr. Ogunbunmi’s failure to retract the story, the matter was reported to AIG of Zone 2 as well as Umar Manko, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police in another letter.
The letter stated in part:
"I sincerely urge you to use your good offices to investigate the actions of Mr. Ogunbunmi and his organisation with a view to prosecuting them for criminal libel.
"I fear that the very fabric of our society will continue to decay if 'journalists' such as this are allowed to publish defamatory statements recklessly and with impunity against well meaning Nigerians."
The arrest of Messrs Ogunbunmi and Rasheed was a direct result of an investigation of criminal libel as investigated by the police. It was also instructive to note that the pair had failed to respond to several invitations by the police and were consequently detained in Zone 2 police headquarters.
Mr. Rasheed has since been released while Mr. Ogunbunmi remains in police custody.