The Arrest of Keyamo


Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues




October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007



LUNARPAGES.COM and IPOWERWEB.COM - Despicable WebHosts - Read My Story








Mobolaji E. Aluko, Ph.D



The police apparatchiks of the civilian regime in Nigeria are now truly acting like the military regime of Abacha, intimidating those whose names or faces they do not like for some reason or the other. Their latest victim is Festus Keyamo, whose arrest yesterday is now really turning the Ige murder investigation into an unbelievably macabre circus.

A quick summary is appropriate here. On December 23, 2001, Chief Bola Ige was killed in his bedroom by yet unknown assailants [Reference 1.] A few days later, one Adeniyi Yinusa (age 27) turned himself into the Police in Ibadan, "confessing" to being part of the gang that killed Ige. He was later to be declared off his rockers, famously insane, drug-induced, award-money-induced or all the three of the above. [Reference 2.]

On Monday, January 14, Lawyer Festus Keyamo, with one Joseph Olugbenga Damola Elubode Adebayo ("Frayo") in tow, revealed at a press conference via a deposition what he knew about the killings, to "oohs" and "aahs." [Reference 3.] Frayo was of course taken into custody in Lagos, and then transported to Abuja, yes Abuja.

The investigations had a public lull until Wednesday, February 13, when Police arrested two journalists, Publisher Mr. Segun Banjo, and Femi Davies, of the Ace magazine over their relationship with Frayo. [Reference 4] Apparently, they had quartered Frayo for a few days before advising him to "hire" Keyamo as his lawyer and turning him over to his new "mentor."

On Friday, February 15, a newspaper published a retraction letter by Frayo, saying that he was coerced and coached by Keyamo into writing his earlier deposition, and divesting him (Keyamo) of legal representation of his (Frayo’s) humble self. [Reference 5].

Now, it has been revealed that Festus Keyamo was himself been arrested on Saturday, February 16, 2002. [Reference 6.]

For what, one might ask? Why the heck would Keyamo be arrested? Are we in a Gestapo police state or what?

A simple reason for this latest arrest? Intimidation and cover-up, period.

What chutzpah!

Why do I write so? At no point has ANY indication been made that Keyamo was involved in the plot, murder or cover-up either of Hon Odunayo Olagbaju or Chief Bola Ige. So why must he be so harassed? Just because he chose to represent Frayo at Frayo’s invitation, and needed some time to establish some client-lawyer relationship with an agitated and frightened Frayo, frightened because he did not want the police to get to him and terminate him before he could make any statement?

If the authorities need to get information from Keyamo, then they should proceed with the case and subpoena information from Keyamo on the witness stand or something rather than treat him like a criminal. Heck, is there no client-lawyer privilege in Nigeria any more?

If Frayo has decided that he no longer wishes Keyamo to represent as a lawyer, does that not mean that he ONCE represented him as such? OK, if Frayo no longer likes Keyamo, so be it: is that why the police should go rummaging through his office?

Why all of this Gestapo tactic to search Keyamo’s office for tapes and document authority from Frayo to Keyamo? Does the burly-sized Frayo look like a candidate for a small-sized Keyamo to intimidate into writing a deposition? "Prima facie": which letter would a reasonable man be inclined to believe: is it the one written by Keyamo while Frayo was free, or the one written by Frayo in the custody of the Police, denouncing Keyamo?

Abeg: Who is kidding whom here?

That brings me to Professor Wole Soyinka, whose early criticism of Keyamo continues to be given prominence in the media.

I am now urging the Nobel laureate to intervene righteously in this unfolding mess, which will just give our Nigerian justice system a terrible eye once again in the international comity of nations.

This appeal to Soyinka is because I believe that some of Prof. Soyinka’s earlier statements about Keyamo’s involvement may have given the authorities in Nigeria the backbone to be harassing Keyamo. That may not have been Prof. Soyinka’s intention, but that is the REALITY that it is turning out to be.

If Prof. Soyinka is reluctant to intervene, may I remind him that so far, Frayo is a mere suspect, not guilty. Furthermore:

during the regime of General Abacha of 1993 - 1998, he (Soyinka) was declared wanted for treason along with Chief Enahoro, General Akinrinade and present Lagos State Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu - WRONGFULLY I might add. [Reference 7] However, Prof. Soyinka also declared himself "missing" from Nigeria, and many people saw him - including yours truly - saw him during that declaration and DID not turn him in. At least, Keyamo was MORE LAWYFUL and turned Frayo in, even if belated after a mere five days.

Following the rigged October 11, 1965 Western Region election during the Akintola regime, then Mr. Wole Soyinka was accused - ironically along with then Mr. Bola Ige - of trying to assassinate Premier Samuel Ladoke Akintola with a gun at the Radio Ibadan. He was, like Frayo, declared wanted by the police authorities. [Reference 8.]

Again, Mr. Soyinka went missing for quite some time! Again, although I was merely 10 years old then, yours truly VERY DISTINCTLY remember seeing him with my very own eyes one evening as he barged into a University of Nigeria, Nsukka residential living room. He was quickly spirited away to safety by his friends, some of who were members of my immediate family. I was too young to turn him in - and would not have if I were old enough - but I know adults who could have turned him in, and never did, even after five whole days!

My point here, Prof. Soyinka, is that you were once and many times like Frayo, and many people were once like your Keyamo. So Prof, let us be realistic here: Kindly say something on Keyamo’s behalf.

One also hopes that the Nigerian lawyers both at home and abroad will rise up in defence of Keyamo and against this assault of "our" noble institution, I being an armchair untrained "lawyer."

Moving on...

My point? With this arrest, the Nigerian Police is now truly chasing shadows over this Ige investigation.

The NPF is making a mockery of justice and turning the investigation into a circus. The true murderers - whoever and wherever they are - will be laughing silently somewhere that the NPF is barking up the wrong tree, looking for them in all of the wrong places.

Ige’s murder investigation should not be going this way. It is truly a disgrace that the murder of the highest law enforcement officer in the land is being turned into a circus. Keyamo is not the problem.

The authorities may not find the killers, but they have no right to force us to become hapless watchers of a macabre circus.

bulletReferences 1: Ige’s murder
bullet Bola Ige Shot Dead
This Day (Lagos) December 24, 2001
bullet Justice Minister Shot Dead
UN Integrated Regional Information Networks, December 24, 2001
bullet MID-WEEK ESSAY: The Death of Uncle Bola Ige
by Mobolaji Aluko, December 26, 2001


bulletReference 2:
bullet Ige: Murder And Prime Suspects
Tempo (Lagos) January 17, 2002
"Their job, initially, appeared to have been made easier with the reported confession of one Adeniyi Yinusa, 27, who voluntarily submitted himself for arrest. A few days after the murder, Yinusa turned himself over to the police in Ibadan, claiming he was one of the gunmen who attacked Ige. Yinusa said he was squealing because those who sent them to kill the minister, reneged on their agreement to pay each of the eight killers the sum of one million naira."


bulletReference 3:
bullet SUNDAY MUSINGS: Fr(a)yo’s Bombshell and the Cat’s Bell
Mobolaji E. Aluko, January 20, 2002


bulletReference 4:
bullet Ige: Police Arrest 2 Journalists
As efforts to track down the killers of late Justice Minister Chief Bola Ige continues, the police in Lagos have arrested two journalists believed to have haboured one of the suspects.


bullet Ige's Murder: Two Journalists Arrested
Lawyer, Mr. Festus Keyamo has said that two journalists with a Lagos based soft-sell magazine, Ace have been arrested by the police at Force CID Alagbon Close on suspicion that they are associates of Olugbenga Adebayo alias Fryo.


bullet Arrested Editors Moved to Abuja
The arrested editors of ACE Magazine, Mr. Femi Davies and Segun Banjo are expected to be moved to the Federal Capital Territory Abuja, today.


bulletReference 5:
bullet Excerpt of Frayo’s letter to Keyamo
"The story that I confessed to you, that Omisore asked me, what will it cost us to (kill) Chief Bola Ige, was your own imagination. You remember that having given you the whole story you wrote to suite your own selfish end. I begin to think today the reason why you wanted (i.e.) you and me to implicate Omisore, vice-president and the entire PDP as a body in the death of Chief Bola Ige which we both know they knew nothing about. I beg to withdraw you as my lawyer in this case. I pray to God to help you to tell the truth of what you inserted in the story which I told you, so that you can be free in this world and in heaven."


bulletReference 6:
bullet Ige Murder: Police Arrest Keyamo
This Day (Lagos) February 17, 2002
"A new twist yesterday entered the investigations into the last December murder of Attorney General and Justice Minister, Chief Bola Ige, as police in Lagos arrested counsel to the prime suspect, Mr. Festus Keyamo."


bulletReference 7:
bulletNigeria News De Jour (NNDJ) - Thursday, July 31, 1997 A Selection of Public and Private News on Nigeria

Nigerian police have put four exiled opponents of military rule on their list of wanted men, including Nobel literature laureate Professor Wole Soyinka. A police gazette, issued with fuzzy pictures of the men and circulated to police forces across the country yesterday, said the four were sought for ``conspiracy and treason.'' Joining Soyinka on the list are veteran statesmen Chief Anthony Enahoro, who heads the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) opposition group abroad, retired General Alani Akinrinade, and businessman and politician former senator Chief Ahmed Bola Tinubu. ``If seen, they should be arrested and immediate information passed to the force criminal investigation department or the nearest police station for necessary action,'' the gazette said. The police public relations officer Young Arabamen said ''The wanted men have been taking advantage of our porous boarders to sneak in and out of the country to cause mischief and by officially declaring them wanted we want members of the public to assist us fish them out whenever and wherever they are or when they are seen on the shores of the country''. A trial in absentia of Soyinka, Enahoro and Akinrinade has already begun in connection with a series of bomb blasts that started late last year, and mostly targeted military personnel in southwestern Nigeria.

The opposition campaigners have strongly denied the charges. In the latest edition of Tell magazine exiled General Akinrinade who is also a NADECO stalwart said he was not surprised about the treason charges. ''It is not strange and it is not the first time he tried this before. It is the same thing he did to Generals Obasanjo and Yar'Adua. He got all of them in jail and all those he considers to be a threat to his continued reign and abuse of human rights and looting the treasury'' Akinriande said. Akinriande was a former chief of defence staff of the military. ''He (Abacha) should leave Soyinka and Enahoro alone. We have political work to do and nothing is going to deter us from doing it. Nothing is going to stop us from getting Abacha out of that place'' he added. Police sources said putting the men on the wanted list would reinforce requests already made that investigators be allowed to travel to the United States and Britain, where the opponents are in exile. Both Britain and Nigeria's largest trading partner the United States have been critical of Abacha for keeping dozens of political prisoners and for human rights abuses. They are also wary of Abacha's plan to restore civilian rule next year, which is rejected by NADECO and other opponents as a ruse to keep military hands on the reins of power. “


bulletReference 8:
bulletNigeria: Yesterday, Today and ? by James O. Ojiako, Africana Educational Publishers (Nig.), Ltd. 1981, pages 218, 222.

Mr. Wole Soyinka, the Nigerian author and playwright, was wanted by the police in connection with an incident in which an armed man entered an Ibadan studio of the Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation, seized a recorded tape of a speech by the Western Nigerian Premier, and substituted a tape of a "strange voice" shouting UPGA (UNITED PEOPLES GRAND ALLIANCE, OF ACTION GROUP AND NCNC) slogans. Mr. Bola Ige, assistant secretary of the Action Group, had been arrested in connection with another broadcast. Mr. Wole Soyinka, the author, charged with robbery and violence in connection with a broadcast on October 15 was acquitted on December 20, 1965.



horizontal rule

© 1999 - 2006 Segun Toyin Dawodu. All rights reserved. All unauthorized copying or adaptation of any content of this site will be liable to  legal recourse.


Segun Toyin Dawodu, P. O. BOX 710080, HERNDON, VA  20171-0080, USA.

This page was last updated on 10/27/07.