By Uche Amunike
Popular Nigerian Singer, Harrison Tare Okiri, also known as Harrysong on stage, has been arrested and detained by the Nigerian Police in Lagos State, barely a week after he publicly accused Music Executive, Soso Soberekon of making plans to kill him.
Recall that last week, during an interview program with comedian Nedu on his radio program, Frankly Speaking, Harrisong claimed that Soberekon was not his friend, but was rather, an enemy who was trying to assassinate him and further claimed to possess evidence to back up his accusations.
In reaction, Soberekon sent him a defamation notice where he demanded a damages fee of N500 million to be paid in 7 days from the date of the letter, an apology and a retraction of his comments.
The notice partly read: ‘Our client has consequently directed us to request for a retraction of the said publication and an apology to be published in two newspapers and several online news millets not later than seven days of the delivery of this letter and also the payment of the sum of N500,000,000.00 (Five Hundred Million Naira) as damages and compensation for the malicious publications made against our client.’
‘TAKE NOTICE that if you fail to heed the request of our client within seven days of the receipt of this letter, we shall be constrained to proceed to the court of law against you for exemplary damages for injurious falsehood and malicious publication made of and concerning our client.’
The letter from his Soberekon ‘s lawyers also described Harrysong’s refusal and failure to debunk the allegation as false and without any factual basis , except malicious intents to ruin the reputation of Soberekon. It partly stated that it was also an ‘intentional act to mislead your medial social followers and the general public into believing that he (Soberekon) is a serial killer’.
On Tuesday, however, Harrysong was arrested by the Police as soon as he landed in Lagos. He tweeted on his Instagram page that he was arrested when he landed at the airport in Lagos State. In the statement signed by his manager, it was indicated that his phone was also seized upon his arrest, making it impossible to communicate with people.
His arrest was made following a petition by Soso Soberekon and forwarded to the Inspector General of Police, (IGP) Usman Baba-Alkali. Confirming his arrest, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Benjamin Hundeyin, stated that Harrysong was arrested as part of the investigation into alleged defamation of character levelled against him by Soso Soberekon. The PPRO did not say if the singer would be allowed bail for now.
He only stated: ‘Investigation is still ongoing. He is still writing his statement. Before the end of the day, I will be able to tell if he will be granted bail and what his bail conditions are’.
On his part, Soberekon’s words were: ‘As a matter of fact, I always mind my business, stay in my lane and put smiles on people’s faces. It is very disappointing that Harrysong will make such a false, reckless and defamatory statement.’