CSO faults FIJ’s reports on Ibrahim Egungbohun Dende, says its campaign of calumny

CSO faults FIJ’s reports on Ibrahim Egungbohun Dende, says its campaign of calumny

A leading Non-Governmental Organization, Advocacy for Advancement of Peace &Harmony in Africa Initiative (ADAPHAI) has faulted the reports published by Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) alleging a community leader and Peace Advocate, Chief Ibrahim Egungbohun, also known as IBD Dende of smuggling.

The National Coordinator of the organisation, Comrade Sulaimon Suberu in a press briefing in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital on Friday said the personality of IBD Dende is far from such nefarious activities as alleged by the medium arguing that aside being a legitimate businessman, Chief Ibrahim Egungbohun is Peace Advocate of repute in Yewa Land and Ogun State in general.

According to ADAPHAI, Chief Egungbohun had carved a niche for himself in the several interventions aimed at entrenching sanity in the boarder areas around the axis.

The group, therefore, called on security agencies and the office of the NSA to quickly look into the issue and appropriately sanction peddlers of fake news in that regard.

“Our organisation, a leading Civil Society Organization in Africa, with mandate for peace advocacy and non-violent culture is compelled to activate a fact-finding mechanism to ascertain certain narratives in a section of the media about the personality of a Peace Advocate and Community Leader in Ogun State, Chief Ibrahim Egungbohun, popularly known as IBD Dende, across the State.

“It is on record that our organisation, in the course of several interventions on peace advocacy in the border communities along Yewa South and Yewa North of Ogun State got to know Chief Egungbohun through Community engagement and social mobilization among the local populace in the axis.

“By our experience and records of engagement for many years, we found Chief Egungbohun, alias IBD Dende to be an harbinger of culture and the rich tradition of his people with rare sense of patriotism who does his legitimate business as a Border Community Stakeholder and Licensed Freight Clearing and Forwarder with utmost integrity.

“Chief Egungbohun by our discreet investigation had worked closely with the highest echelon of Nigerian Customs and the Presidency to entrench sanity at the border areas of Ogun State and in the battle against smuggling and other nefarious activities at the border.

“As a revered Community Leader, the proud title holder of Oluomo of Yewaland remains a rallying point for his people for economic empowerment and youth engagement towards peaceful co-existence and harmony in the axis.

“Chief IBD Dende is a member of 20-member Peace-Building Committee on Herder-Farmer Conflicts appointed by Gov Dapo Abiodun to find a lasting solution to the incessant clashes between farmers in the agrarian communities of Yewaland and marauding herders.

“Meanwhile, contrary to the report published by Fisayo Soyonbo of Foundation for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) which practically predicated on vague evidence of questionable sources that were out of contest, we make bold to say that Chief IBD Dende was never arrested for Gun running neither had he ever supported such nefarious activities in his entire existence.

“We challenge Fisayo Soyombo and FIJ to prove the allegation of gun-running. It’s illogical to say that Nigeria Customs who he alleged that released Chief Ibrahim Egungbohun and refused to disclose his offence should be the one to try him. We appeal to Fisayo Soyombo to tell Nigerians the evidence of his arrest, and the identities of the guns after all, arms are serially numbered. How should it be so difficult for Fisayo and FIJ to unravel such riddles he shunned out as findings? We are interested, we want evidence. After all, on two occasions we gathered that Chief Egungbohun intervened to retrieve arms seized by Agbekoyas from security agencies at Egguea and Ota in Ogun State. This is verifiable.

“Also, the allegation that Chief Ibrahim Egungbohun connived with certain security agents to smuggle guns into the country six months to the general election, and recently smuggled motorcycles popularly known as Okada in the local parlance and Tramadol consignments for terrorists were blatant lies. We demand of Fisayo and FIJ to substantiate the allegation by publishing his traceable evidence, be it photograph of the trucks linkable to IBD Dende during uploading/offloading or recipients who were terrorists as alleged to substantiate that the motorcycles and tramadol were delivered by IBD Dende or Customs.

“The worst of the lies, as we have confirmed through our findings, told by FIJ and Fisayo Soyombo was that Chief Ibrahim Dende Egungbohun smuggled three 2024 Toyota land cruisers and four white coaster buses into the country recently, which according to Fisayo was executed with the “express say-so of Hussein Ejigbunu”. We are again challenging both Fisayo Soyombo and FIJ to come clean on this riddles; Nigerians want to know the final destination of the seven vehicles. After all, he said the vehicles were taken to Lagos. Where in Lagos, to whom? FIJ and Fisayo should spare Nigerians from agony of false alarm”, ADAPHAI said.

The organisation, therefore, called on Fisayo Soyombo, the publisher of FIJ to come up with logical evidence to substantiate his claim, adding that in the absence of such evidence, the allegation remains absolutely unfounded and mere fiction.

It continued: “Unless Fisayo comes out with tangible evidence, we have no option than to believe that his works were fabricated lies by its proponents to smear Chief Ibrahim Egungbohun’s (IBD Dende) personality for political and pecuniary gains.

“To this end, we want to sound this stern warning as a way of maintaining law and order in the public space that nobody have any rights to call fellow Nigerians defamatory names like notorious smuggler, sponsor of terrorists, gun runner etc without authority of a competent court of law. Fisayo Soyombo and FIJ could have forgotten the particular item of the law but we are disappointed in his lawyer who supposed to know better to caution him. He ought to have been trained to know how to differentiate between opinion and findings. Fisayo Soyombo and FIJ erred by calling Chief Ibrahim Egungbohun a “notorious smuggler, sponsor of terrorists and gun runner” for any reasons whatsoever.

“We, therefore, call on security agencies, especially the Department of State Services and the office of the National Security Adviser to quickly wade in and do a thorough investigation to ascertain the truth of the matter and appropriately sanction peddlers of false information and cheap propaganda

“On a final note, we solidarise with Chief Ibrahim Egungbohun, alias IBD Dende, on this and urge him to maintain his peace as always and as a community leader and Peace Advocate of high repute.”

Full Story: https://dailypost.ng/2024/04/12/cso-faults-fijs-reports-on-ibrahim-egungbohun-dende-says-its-campaign-of-calumny/
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