Dedicated to Nigeria's socio-political issues
October 3, 2007 - December 2, 2007
Remembering Uncle Bola Ige
– and The Killers in Our Midst-
Mobolaji E. Aluko
Saturday, October 16, 2004
There is a cardinal aspect of modern jurisprudence and justice which holds that people are innocent until proven guilty. As hard as it sometimes is, I absolutely respect and accept it.
So when I read yesterday that ALL of those accused of killing Uncle Bola Ige on December 23, 2001 have now been freed by Ibadan courts – Adebayo Adedamola aka Fryo, Daramola Ezekiel, Sgt Oye Oniyanda, Nelson Kumoye, Kareem Lawal, Adebayo Adegoke and Oluwole Ogunjimi, in a judgement delivered by Justice Atilade Ojo on October 14, following the release on June 25 of Iyiola Omisore in judgement delivered by Justice Akin Sanda, and on July 20 of Alani Omisore, Lambe Oyasope, Kunle Alao and Jelili Adesiyan in a judgement delivered also by Justice Ojo - my initial instinct was to state that justice had been done: after all the “not guilty” have been declared free.
Then I suddenly recoiled: what does all of this REALLY MEAN?
One thing that I know for sure is that Uncle Bola Ige did not commit suicide. No, news reports were that he planned to go to Esa-Oke the following day after a change of plans on that fateful day; that certain people forced their way into his home in Ibadan on that fateful night in the absence of his bodyguards who had all “gone to eat”; proceeded to tie up some of his family members; and then later on his body was found bullet-ridden until he died in the hospital later on.
So it was a homicide simplicita, committed not by ghosts but by some human beings, in flesh and blood.
Despite my stated acceptance and respect for the notion of innocent until proven guilty, when a number of people, Fryo and Omisore included among others, were arrested on suspicion, either of plotting to kill him and/or actually laying their hands on him to do the dastardly deed, I had this SLIGHT human FEELING of ease that MAYBE, just MAYBE some of Ige’s killers were among them, detained in prison, and hence that society could feel a little bit freer with them in detention. I know it was unfair on them, but I could not help myself.
But now they are all free, freed, according to the judge, because the prosecution was completely incapable of providing any persuasive evidence against them either of conspiracy or murder.
And what does that mean?
Well, I do not know whether ANY one of those who have now been freed was involved in Ige’s murder, but now that they ALL have been freed, I KNOW for SURE that his killers are at large somewhere in Nigeria, eating, drinking and being merry somewhere, marrying and being married, having children and hoping to grow up like yours and mine.
That is, after three years, not a single clue is known about who murdered the Attorney-General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and a personal friend of the President.
May the souls of Uncle Bola Ige, Aunty Tinuke Ige (who must have died with a broken heart) and lawyer Chief Debo Akande (who quit prosecuting the case in disgust) rest in perfect peace. “ Olorun wa ni ite e! “
[June 26, 2004]
Ige: Omisore’s Associates Freed
[July 21, 2004]
Ige: Akande backs out of prosecution of Fryo, others
[August 07, 2004]
Ige: Court frees Fryo, others
[October 16, 2004]
Unstar Killings: The Political Assassination of Harry Marshall – A Compilation [March 6, 2003]
Midweek Essay: The Death of Uncle Bola Ige
[by Mobolaji Aluko, December 26, 2001]
Ajibola Ige: An Ecumenical Spirit
[by Wole Soyinka, January 11, 2002; Funeral Oration]
Sunday Musings: Fr(a)yo’s Bombshell and the Cat’s Bell
[by Mobolaji Aluko, January 20, 2002]
Monday Quarterbacking: Personal Encounters with Uncle Bola
[by Mobolaji Aluko, February 4, 2002]
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This page was last updated on 10/27/07.