Embattled Fisayo Soyombo: Nigeria’s Investigative Hero

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  • Post last modified:January 25, 2023

Fisayo Soyombo Biography

Fisayo Soyombo is an award-winning Nigerian journalist who has made a name for himself as a muckraker and an investigative reporter. He is best known in Nigeria as the undercover journalist who spent five days in a police cell and eight days in Ikoyi Prison. He also drove the equivalent of a stolen vehicle from Abuja to Lagos, passing through 86 checkpoints in a 1,600km journey.

Soyombo’s work has been featured in notable publications such as The Guardian, Al Jazeera, Quartz Africa, and New African Magazine. He is best known for his series of investigative reports that led to the 2018 arrest of Nigeria’s Attorney General on corruption charges. His exposés have also shed light on bribery and fraud within Nigeria’s customs services and the prison system.

In 2019, Soyombo received the prestigious Kurt Schork Award in International Journalism from the Maryland-based charity organization “Reporters Without Borders” for his outstanding reporting efforts.

Fisayo Soyombo Age

He is 37 years old as of 2023. He was born on 27 October 1985 in Abeokuta, Nigeria. He celebrates his birthday on 27 October.

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Fisayo Soyombo Education

Lawson’s Childcare Nursery and Primary School, Labso Nursery and Primary School, and African Church Grammar School, Ita-Iyalode, Owu, served as Soyombo’s educational settings. After attending the Federal University of Agriculture, Alabata, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) for a year in 2003, he went on to study agriculture at the University of Ibadan in 2004 and received a B. Agric. in Science of Animals.

Fisayo Soyombo Height

Fisayo Soyombo is one of the most popular investigative journalists in Nigeria. He stands at a towering height of 5ft 11in, and his stature has helped him gain notoriety for his work. His impressive size has also been credited with helping him to stand out from a crowded field of Nigerian reporters.

Soyombo’s height is an advantage that he uses to his advantage inside and outside the newsroom. His tall frame allows him to come across as strong and authoritative while interviewing political officials, which helps to ensure they take him seriously. Additionally, it gives Soyombo an added layer of protection when traveling in potentially dangerous locations for investigative reports.

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Fisayo Soyombo Net Worth

Fisayo Soyombo is a highly accomplished Nigerian journalist and investigative reporter who is best known for his work in uncovering the truth in high profile cases. His fearless reporting on issues of corruption, nepotism, and human rights has earned him worldwide recognition. Unfortunately, Fisayo has not revealed any information about his net worth to date.

However, it can be assumed that Fisayo’s hard work and skill have led to a substantial amount of wealth over the years. We can estimate his net worth of $7 million.

Fisayo Soyombo The Cable

In April of 2014, Soyombo became TheCable’s first editor. He disguised himself as a clearing agent during this time to expose the decline of the Nigerian Customs Service. He quit as editor by the end of 2017 and started working for himself. On the other hand, he continued to publish his work on the website TheCable.

“With N46,000 bribe, I drove a ‘stolen’ car from Abuja to Lagos, and back!” was the title of his undercover report. Published on the newspaper’s website in May 2018. According to Soyombo, he drove an equivalent of a stolen vehicle from Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, to Lagos over the course of two days without being apprehended by the police, even though he passed through 86 checkpoints.

He went undercover in 2019 to expose the widespread corruption in Nigeria’s legal system, focusing on the police and prison system. Soyombo worked as “Ojo Olajumoke” for days at the Pedro Police Station in Shomolu, Lagos. Additionally, he spent eight days in Lagos’ Ikoyi Prison.

After that, the Guardian reported that the Nigerian security forces had plans to arrest Soyombo and force him to hide for some time. His arrest was immediately denied by the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS). As a result, journalists and other Nigerians began using the hashtag #KeepFisayoSafe on Twitter to demand his safety.

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Fisayo Soyombo Sahara Reporters 

Soyombo was named managing editor of the online newspaper Sahara Reporters in May 2018. After a year, he left the newspaper to continue working as an independent investigative reporter.

Fisayo Soyombo Investigation Stories

Soyombo went undercover in July 2019—one month after leaving SaharaReporters—and spent two weeks in detention—five days in a police cell and eight days as an inmate at Ikoyi Prison—to investigate corruption in Nigeria’s criminal justice system. Soyombo, using the pseudonym Ojo Olajumoke, feigned an offense for which he was arrested, detained in police custody, arraigned in court, and ultimately remanded to prison in order to experience the system in its raw state.

The government considered arresting him when the story was published in October, but the Twitter campaign #KeepFisayoSafe forced them to back off. Soyombo went undercover once more the following month, this time for ten days at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, also known as “Yaba Left,” in Yaba, Lagos.

He published “Portraits of Blood” in January and February 2021. This was the only attempt by a journalist to list the deaths caused by Army bullets fired at protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza on October 20, 2020.

His most significant investigation to date is the five-part series “Forgotten Soldiers,” a labor-intensive investigation of soldiers who were abandoned by the Army and government after being injured fighting Boko Haram on the battlefield. Johnson Nwibani, a soldier whose leg was amputated after he was shot by Boko Haram and who had begged the Army for 44 months for a prosthesis, received one after the story. Additionally, a number of soldiers who suffered hearing loss on the battlefield were fitted with hearing aids and released from the hospital. The “most fulfilling moment” of Soyombo’s journalism career was presenting Nwibani with a fitting prosthesis.

Fisayo Soyombo Career

Soyombo joined both the Mellanby Hall Press organization (MHPO) and the Union of Campus Journalists (UCJ) during his first year at the University of Ibadan and became involved in the campus press. At that time, Kola Tubosun served as president of the UCJ. He was selected by the UCJ to intern at The Guardian, a Nigerian newspaper, at the conclusion of the session after winning five awards, two from UCJ, two from Mellamby Hall Press, and one from Indy Hall Press, one of MHPO’s biggest rivals.

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He was assigned to the Sunday desk at The Guardian by editor Jahman Anikulapo, with whom he would later form a mentor-mentee relationship. Soyombo has repeatedly publicly referred to Anikulapo as the first of his two mentors and “probably the biggest influence on my journalism career” in recent years.

Soyombo completed his national youth service and two internship stints with The Guardian in 2006 and 2009, both of which he credits Mr. Martins Oloja, the paper’s then-Abuja Bureau Chief, and Mr. Anikulapo for.

Soyombo reluctantly left The Guardian for Content Watch, a pro-local content oil and gas magazine founded by Taijo Wonukabe and led by Taiwo Obe, after the one-year service period ended in February 2011. Soyombo moved from Content Watch to “Jobmag,” a human resources magazine that was only published for a short time by The JobMag Centre. From there, he joined The Will, which led him to the now-defunct Flair Nigeria.

He joined The Cable in April 2014. At first, he was the News and Feature Editor, but within a month, he was promoted to the Founding Editor position. He left The Cable in January 2017 and worked as an editor at the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR). Between May 2018 and June 2019, he worked as a managing editor at Sahara Reporters. Soyombo began his investigation into corruption at Nigeria’s largest seaport in December 2015, despite the fact that The Cable stated at its inception that it would be “strong in business and politics.”