The Ige Family & Omisore Trial


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The Ige Family Withdraws from Omisore Trial  




Mobolaji E. Aluko, Ph.D.



In Remembrance of June 12

Ten Years Later

“That The World May Know”





June 12, 2003


Dear Compatriots:



            “In a craven show of immorality and perfidy, the ruling party showed its        true colours as the candidate was adopted………It may well be that this act       is symptomatic of the political malaise that afflicts Nigeria.  However, this             ruling party needs to organize its role in setting example for the people…..If             these are the moral standard being set by those currently in power, we need    not be surprised that Nigerian finds itself in currently pitiable state because             nowhere, it seems, is the society a greater reflection of its “leaders” as is the             case in Nigeria….We leave all concerned to their conscience, both high and             low, to their conscience and hope it is not too late for them to choose the path     of honour and righteousness……..In this season of political perversity…..

            In the light of the development, we are resolved that we shall take no more             interest in the on-going court cases…”


The Ige family is to be forgiven for this rather dramatic withdrawal from further participation in this trial.  Unfortunately, it is a criminal case, not a civil one, so the family would have no choice if the state chooses not to dismiss the case.  It can then compel evidence from the family members, even if thereafter they testify only reluctantly.


If the state chooses….but why waste further government money?  Mabye the state should just declare victory – and let us all move on – for the sake of national interest?


My compatriots, if there is ANY further evidence need of the moral bankruptcy of our nation’s ruling party and the co-conspiratorial nature of many of its citizenry, it is with respect to the death of Chief Bola Ige and the senatorial ascendancy of his topmost murder suspect, Otunba Omisore. 



Let us follow this story closely:  The Attorney General Bola Ige, an AD member serving under the ruling party PDP government, is murdered in cold blood in his own home on December 23, 2001. This is about a week or so after a thuggish mob fiasco lifts his cap during a visit to his friend, the Ooni of Ife (installed by Ige during his own Oyo State governorship about a decade earlier) while participating in the chieftaincy investiture of the wife of another friend of Ige, President Olusegun Obasanjo.  This shameful event may or may not have led to the vicious hacking to death a few days later at Ile-Ife of Hon. Olagbaju, a political friend of Omisore and co., and allegedly responsible (that is Olagbaju) for the humiliation of Ige at the Ooni’s palace.   The means and motives for Ige’s death have since been established for all the arrested suspects, and the opportunity has been established for some of them.  After much dallying, the prime suspect/instigator, the Deputy Governor Omisore of the murdered AG’s home state of Osun, is finally impeached (thereby stripping him of the odious 1999 Constitution’s Section 308 immunity) and promptly jumps ship from the opposing AD party (Ige’s party) to the ruling PDP party (Obasanjo’s party).  Omisore is arrested December 27, 2002 at Aso Rock following a trick invitation to meet some top dignitary/dignitaries there.  While in prison, and despite initial feeble protestations by otherwise honorable PDP Chairman Audu Ogbeh about its inappropriateness, Omisore becomes a Senatorial candidate for PDP in Ijesha/Ilesha constituency, a constituency that in any case insists on Omisore or no one else as its PDP candidate.  To the consternation of all rational human beings, on April 12, 2003, Omisore even wins the seat by a wide margin against the incumbent AD seat holder – all from detention! [The rumor that Omisore won the plurality of votes at Esa Oke, Chief Bola Ige’s home town, is apocryphal and simply not true.  Indeed he won the constituency that includes Ige’s hometown, but haba, not Ige’s home town!  However the untrue Esa Oke win is a typical Nigerian urban legend that has assumed a life of its own.  Those who will believe it will continue to do so for their own reasons, despite all evidence to the contrary.]


Like the Abacha killing triumvirate of Al-Mustafa, Bamaiyi and Sergeant Rogers who have all been denied bail for almost four years now and still remain in detention, Omisore is first denied bail earlier because of the high-profile murder charge and the fact that he is a big flight risk.  However, suddenly, he is released on bail by an Oyo State judge with the improbable ironical last name of Ige (no relation.)  The release is obviously with an eye on the clock for it is on Friday, May 30, 2003, the eve of the swearing-in of Senators in Abuja, a “joyful” exercise which Omisore participates in gleefully on Tuesday, June 2!


It is unbelievable chutzpah.


And president Obasanjo keeps mute on all of these happenings……hun!  Why would any one want to serve in this bloody country?  If the Attorney General, the only constitutionally-sanctioned minister of the federation, can be killed like a fly in his own home, and his so-called friends can be cavorting around the country, toasting themselves and each other following rigged elections, who the heck is protected?


Where is the outrage?


Moving on…..


So, compatriots, in just these 2003 elections,  we have a president with 618,000 votes unaccounted for in his home Ogun State, among several other votes; we have a Delta State governor with an alleged disqualifying sentence over his head (but no conviction) still probably denying his own existence;  we have a National Senate mired in controversy, with a Senate president (Adolphus Wabara of PDP Abia South) that did not win his election; with a murder suspect (Iyiola Omisore  of PDP) as member; and with six members from one state (Anambra) instead of three because the PDP (again!) could not decide in time which of the set was its authentic slate.  We have a National House with 8 representatives instead of  four from Anambra State,  and with one another member (Morris Maurice Ibekwe) held for “419” crime just in time before he could be sworn in after re-election.


Na wa o!  It is all breath-taking!


This situation calls for the French exclamation:  “C’est rigolo, c’est bizarre!”


May we never have these kinds of evil elections again in our lifetime (Amen.)


May Uncle Bola’s and Autie Tinuke’s souls rest in perfect peace, Nigeria notwithstanding. (Amen.)



Bolaji Aluko



Omisore Arrives Ife in Grand Style


Tribune June 1, 2003

Supo Awodoyin, Ile-Ife



For the people of Ile-Ife, it was jubilation galore as Otunba Iyiola Omisore, the Senator-elect for Ife/Ijesha senatorial district, arrived the town on Friday [MAY 30, 2003] after his release on bail by an Ibadan High Court.


The former deputy governor of Osun State who had been in detention for the past five months for alleged involvement in the killing of Chief Bola Ige, former Minister of Justice, was granted bail by the Ibadan High Court.


Otunba Omisore who arrived the Ile-Ife end of the Ife-Ibadan expressway at about 6:00 pm was received by an enthusiastic crowd comprising of Ife people, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftains and party supporters who had been waiting since Friday afternoon when the news of his release got to them.


Securitymen had a hectic time controlling the large crowd, many of who struggled tgo catch a glimpse of the politician who was dressed in a green Guinea brocade with a cap to match when he arrived at the toll-gate along with the Apetu of Ipetumodu, Oba Adedokun Adegoke who had earlier gone to Ibadan to stand as a surety for the Senator-elect.


After about 20 minutes of toll-gate ceremony, his long convoy, which comprised of over 300 cars, commercial buses and motorcycles, movfed to the town at snail speed.


As the convoy passed through Mayfair, Lagere and Iremo, the town’s people who include the young and the old took to the streets shouting praises of the former deputy governor.


As a result of people trooping out to welcome him, the movement of his convoy became slower while he could not get to the palace of the Ooni of Ife until after 7:00 pm.


Otunba Omisore, with party leaders, associates and some supporters, went straight to the swimming pool side of the palace where Oba Okunade Sijuwade, Olubuse II, was already waiting for his arrival.


After the exchange of pleasantries with the monarch, Omisore expressed appreciation for the love, understanding and support of the Ooni which, he said, sustained him and other detainees.


He thanked Oba Sijuwade for the role he played in the success of PDP at the just concluded general elections, not only in the area but also in the South-West.


He stated that it was the electoral victory of the party in the Ife area that was responsible for the success recorded by PDP in Yorubaland.


The Senator-elect was full of praises for the people of Ife/Ijesa senatorial district for voting for him while in detention.


He told the gathering which consisted of the Adimula of Ifewara, Oba Adeniyi Owolola, Salu of Edunabon, Oba Omoloye Oyelade and traditional chiefs that his political opponents “never meant well with my detention, but God in His infinite mercy, showed that power belongs to Him.”


The Ooni strongly advised the former deputy governor against vengeance, saying that “rather, you should leave everything to God who is capable of fighting for you.”


Oba Sijuwade also warned Omisore and his supporters to work for peace and progress in the town while praying for all those who stood by the politician during his detention.


The royal father noted that the Senator-elect “is apparently closer to God than before as a result of his incarceration.”




Ige Family Hands Off Murder Trial


This Day

June 10, 2003


Members of the immediate family of the slain Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Bola Ige (SAN), yesterday announced their withdrawal from further participation in the court cases in which Senator Iyiola Omisore and 11 others are standing trial for conspiracy and murder of the former justice minister.


In a three-page statement jointly signed by Mrs. Olufunso Adegbola and Sir Dele Ige, daughter and younger brother of the slain minister respectively, the family declared that they are leaving “all concerned, both high and low to their consciences and hope it is not  too late for them to choose the path of honour and righteousness.”


Ige family’s statement which was distributed to newsmen in Ibadan yesterday relayed a litany of woes which had bedeviled the trial process including the treatment of suspects as celebrities and the roles of top government officials and other leading figures in facilitating the bail given to Omisore, one of the principal suspects.


The family noted that since December 23, 2001, when the minister was assassinate by  unknown person, “…in the true spirit of Christianity and good citizenship, we resolved to support the authorities in the ensuing investigations, putting aside any reservations we may have had or in fact, been asked to entertain by very many people.”


The family continued:  “…We chose to give the benefit of the doubt to the authorities when many might have been tempted to make political capital or in fact blackmail those in power with unproven allegations.  We continued on this path of rectitude and restraint in the face of sundry provocations.


“We remained undeterred at various stages when it seemed that the investigations might not have been carried out as thoroughly as it should be expected.


“We watched with dismay as the case was turned into a stage for political theatre with the accused treated as celebrities, especially within the confine of the courts and within prison walls….


“Our dismay was further heightened when major political personages and government officials continue to make visits, or at the very least, were in regular contact with persons accused of murdering a top government official.


“It seemed they were the ones not willing to wait for the courts to make its pronouncement of guilt or innocence.


“We were assured in declaration after declaration by senior officials of the ruling party including its chairman that it would be immoral, even unthinkable, for the party to present as a candidate one who was tainted, at  least, not until his innocence was confirmed by the courts.


“In a craven show of immorality and perfidy, the ruling party showed its true colours as the candidate was adopted.


“It may well be that this act is symptomatic of the political malaise that afflicts Nigeria.  However, this ruling party needs to organize its role in setting example for the people.


“If these are the moral standard being set by those currently in power, we need not be surprised that Nigerian finds itself in currently pitiable state because nowhere, it seems, is the society a greater reflection of its “leaders” as is the case in Nigeria.


“We have continued to keep the faith in the face of mounting provocations but the time has come when the facts must be set straight…”


“While we can accept a judicial decision that grants bail to an accused person, what is difficult to accept is the flood of public officials prepared to facilitate this process and associate both privately and publicly with a person accused of so heinous a crime.  It would seem as they say that there is more to this than meet the eyes….


“In the light of the development, we are resolved that we shall take no more interest in the on-going court cases.  We leave all concerned to their conscience, both high and low, to their conscience and hope it is not too late for them to choose the path of honour and righteousness.


“In this season of political perversity which seems unending, seasons come and go as do political office holders.  We on the other hand choose to put our faith in Him who is unchangeable and has no successor.  And for the good people of this country, we leave you to make your judgements.”


Before yesterday’s statement, both Mrs. Adegbola and Ige’s only surviving son, Muyiwa, testified as prosecution witnesss in one of the trials involving Alani Omisore, a cousin of Senator Omisore, and some of his political associates, namely Jelili Adesiyan, Lambe Oyasope and Kunle Alao.


Both Mrs. Adegbola and Muyiwa Ige are also scheduled as witnesses in the other trial involving the senator alone in which he is being charged for conspiracy and murder at another court, also in Ibadan.


However, early yesterday, Omisore’s counsel, Mr. Kunle Kalejaiyed, had dismissed as false various newspaper reports that his client was granted bail “on the sole premise that the court found the evidence of prospective witnesses as weak.”


Kalejaiye also described as untru similar reports that the judge gave two contradictory rulings within a period of two weeks.


“I have read and re-read the ruling of the court, per Justice Olagoke Ige, in the Omisore bail application and I cannot see when the court described the evidence of prospective witnesses as weak,” he said.


Kalejaiye contended that “the principal reasons for granting bail to Senator Omisore by the court are for reasons of his failing health and the likelihood of the accused coming for his trial.”


“The earlier ruling that is being juxtaposed with the bail ruling was on a different matter altogether.  And that was on whether a prima facie case is disclose against Senator Omisore in the main trial.”



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